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REMINISCENCES 

OF 

AN OCTOGENARIAN 

OF THE 

CITY OF NEW YORK 

(1816 TO 1860) 



BY 



CHAS. H. HASWELL 

MEMBER AM., BOSTON, AND PHILADELPHIA SOCIETIES 

OF c. E., AND INST'N OF N. E. OF u. s., AND INST'NS 

OF C. E. AND N. A. OF GREAT BRITAIN, ETC. 



ILLUSTRATED 



Hear Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots, 
frae Maidenkirk to Johnny Groats 
If there's a hole in a' your coats, 

I rede you tent it ,' 
A chiefs amang ye takin' notes, 

And, faith, he'll prent it. 

BURNS. 




519220 



NEW YORK 

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 
1896 



BY CHAS. H. HASWELL. 



MECHANICS' AND ENGINEERS' POCKET-BOOK of 
Tables, Rules, and Formulas, pertaining to Mechanics, 
Mathematics, and Physics : including Areas, Squares, 
Cubes and Roots, &c. ; Logarithms, Hydraulics, Hydro- 
dynamics, Steam and the Steam - Engine, Naval Archi- 
tecture, Masonry, Steam - Vessels, Mills, &c.; Limes, 
Mortars, Cements, &c. ; Orthography of Technical Words 
and Terms, c., &c. Sixty-first Edition. 12mo, Pocket - 
Book Form, $4 00. 

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK. 



Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 



All rights reserved. 



Unscrfbefc to 

AUGUSTUS VANHORNE STUYVESANT 

AS A TRIBUTE TO THE DESCENDANT AND WORTHY REPRESENTATIVE 

OF A PEOPLE WHOSE INTEGRITY AND INTELLIGENCE 

GAVE RISE TO THE SOCIAL AND COMMERCIAL 

EMINENCE OF NEW YORK CITY 

BY HIS FRIEND 

THE AUTHOR 



PREFACE 



IN the following pages it is not designed to furnish a 
history of the city during the period designated, as there 
are several histories in existence which in detail and 
extent are in advance of any essay that either my recol- 
lection or information would attain. It is purposed only 
to give my recollection of some matters and occurrences 
that came under my observation or knowledge, and of 
some individuals who were prominently before the public; 
referring to matters previous and subsequent to the 
period embraced only when necessary to illuminate the 
subject treated of. Of the existence and advent of 
daily newspapers, only such are given as I knew of; and 
in a similar manner, the changes in churches and in the 
names of streets recited are those of which I was 
cognizant. 

The matters and incidents now given were mainly col- 
lected some twelve years previous to this date, and were 
laid aside, inasmuch as strict professional authorship for 
a full period of sixty-five years was so much at variance 
with the graphic recital of ordinary incidental and per- 
sonal events, that I doubted the propriety of relying 
wholly upon my ability to do justice either to the subjects 
or to myself. 

The repeated recommendations of some friends 'ulti- 
mately decided me to publish, and in order to meet my 
inexperience in personal recitals, I submitted the MS. 
to Mr. J. E. Learned for his criticisms, and aid in the 



VI PREFACE 

filling of some voids whereof my recollection of full 
details was deficient, both of which duties he has very 
acceptably performed. 

I am indebted to Messrs. Harper & Brothers for many 
of the illustrations in the book, and to Mr. J. F. Phayre 
for assistance in some of the details of the work. 

Not one of the illustrations of structures here given, 
with the exception of St. Paul's Church and the Jumel 
Mansion, is now in primitive existence ; the Jail, Vanden- 
heuvel Mansion, (Burnham's) Claremont, Tammany Hall 
second, Methodist Church in John Street, and Castle Gar- 
den, although existing, have all been altered or added to, 
and some appropriated to purposes other than originally 
designed. 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. P AGE 

I. l8l6. JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR I 

II. I8l6, CONTINUED. JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR ... 28 

III. l8l6, CONTINUED. JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR . . . 50 

IV. I8l7-l8l8. JACOB RADCLIFFE, 1817-1818 J CADWALLA- 

DER D. COLDEN, l8l8, MAYORS 84 

V. I8I9-I820. CADWALLADER D. COLDEN, l8l8-l82O, 

MAYOR 101 

VI. I82I-I822. CADWALLADER D. COLDEN, l82I J STEPHEN 

ALLEN, I82I-I822, MAYORS 119 

VII. 1823-1824. STEPHEN ALLEN, 1823, AND WILLIAM PAULD- 

ING, 1823-1824, MAYORS 138 

VIII. 1825. WILLIAM PAULDING AND PHILIP HONE, MAYORS 165 
IX. 1826. PHILIP HONE, 1825-26, AND WILLIAM PAULDING, 

1826, MAYORS 183 

X. 1827. PHILIP HONE AND WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYORS . 197 

XL 1827. WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 214 

XII. 1828-1829. WILLIAM PAULDING, 1828-1829, AND WAL- 
TER BOWNE, 1829, MAYORS ......... 227 

XIII. I830-I83I. WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 243 

XIV. 1832-1833. WALTER BOWNE, 1832 AND 1833, AND GID- 

EON LEE, 1833, MAYORS 264 

XV. 1834-1835. GIDEON LEE, 1834, AND CORNELIUS W. LAW- 
RENCE, 1834 AND 1835, MAYORS 285 

XVI. 1836-1837. CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, 1836-1837; AARON 

CLARK, 1837, MAYORS " 3" 

XVII. 1838, 1839, 1840. AARON CLARK, 1838 AND 1839, AND 

ISAAC L. VARIAN, 1839 AND 1840, MAYORS .... 335 
XVIII. 1841. ISAAC L. VARIAN AND ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYORS 367 



Viil CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

XIX. 1842. ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 381 

XX. 1843-1844. ROBERT H. MORRIS, 1843 AND 1844, AND 

JAMES HARPER, 1844, MAYORS 4OI 

XXI. 1845-1846. JAMES HARPER, 1845 ; WILLIAM F. HAVE- 
MEYER, 1845-1846 ; AND ANDREW H. MICKLE, 1846, 

MAYORS 4l8 

XXII. 1847-1848. ANDREW H. MICKLE, 1847 ; WILLIAM V. 
BRADY, 1847-1848 ; AND WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, 
1848, MAYORS 431 

XXIII. 1849, 1850, 1851. WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, 1849; 

CALEB S. WOODHULL, 1850 J AND AMBROSE C. KINGS- 
LAND, 1851, MAYORS 450 

XXIV. 1852, 1853, 1854. AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, 1852 ; 

JACOB A. WESTERVELT, 1853 AND 1854, MAYORS . 478 

XXV. 1855, 1856, 1857. FERNANDO WOOD, 1855-1857, MAYOR 497 

XXVI. 1858-1859. DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 516 

XXVII. i860. FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 526 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 
PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR FronttS. 

STONE BRIDGE, BROADWAY AT CANAL -STREET 8 

DUTCH HOUSES, BROAD STREET 13 

TURTLE BAY 14 

LISPENARD'S MEADOWS 16 

BATTERY, l822 19 

RED FORT, FOOT OF HUBERT STREET 21 

BEEKMAN HOUSE, RESIDENCE OF SIR WILLIAM HOWE, 1776. 

FIFTIETH STREET, NEAR FIRST AVENUE 23 

BRIDEWELL, WEST SIDE CITY HALL, l8l6 25 

HALL OF RECORDS, OR OLD JAIL 26 

KIP'S HOUSE 27 

WASHINGTON HALL, SITE OF STEWART BUILDING: BROADWAY, 

CHAMBERS AND READE STREETS 2Q 

TH ROTUNDA, CHAMBERS STREET 31 

SECOND TAMMANY HALL 33 

TOWER AT HALLETT'S POINT 34 

STREET PUMP 36 

THE MANHATTAN RESERVOIR, CHAMBERS STREET 37 

STATEN ISLAND FERRY AND UNITED STATES BARGE OFFICE, 1830. 4! 

DEPARTURE OF LIVERPOOL PACKETS 45 

TONTINE COFFEE HOUSE 48 

KING'S BRIDGE 49 

KENNEDY, WATTS, LIVINGSTON, AND STEVENS HOUSES, BROAD- 
WAY, OPPOSITE BOWLING GREEN 55 

CORNER OF BROADWAY AND MURRAY STREET, l8l6 .... 58 

ATLANTIC GARDEN, NO. Q BROADWAY 60 

CATO'S TAVERN. FOR FORTY-EIGHT YEARS ON POST ROAD BE- 
TWEEN FIFTY-FIRST AND FIFTY-SECOND STREETS . . . . ' 63 

CITY HALL AND PARK, l822 67 

SUGAR HOUSE, LIBERTY STREET 7 

WOMAN AND MAN 74 

PETERSFIELD, THE RESIDENCE OF PETRUS STUYVESANT ... j6 



X LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

MACOMB'S DAM AND CONTINUATION OF ROAD FROM ONE HUN- 
DRED AND FIFTY-FIFTH STREET ; HARLEM RIVER .... 79 

COLUMBIA COLLEGE, 1851 8l 

NEW YORK INSTITUTION OR ALMSHOUSE AND PART OF JAIL . 83 

NO. I BROADWAY, 1817 85 

WALTON HOUSE, FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEAR PECK SLIP, 1776 . 89 

BRICK CHURCH, PARK ROW, AND ST. PAUL'S CHAPEL, l8l6 . . 93 
RICHMOND HILL HOUSE, VARICK STREET, BETWEEN CHARLTON 

AND VANDAM STREETS 97 

METHODIST CHURCH, JOHN STREET, 1768 99 

LUTHERAN CHURCH, CORNER WILLIAM AND FRANKFORT STREETS IOO 

SHAKESPEARE HOTEL, CORNER OF FULTON AND NASSAU STREETS IO5 

THE GRACIE HOUSE, HELL GATE IO9 

MILL ROCK, HELL GATE II& 

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WALL STREET, NEAR BROADWAY I2O 
COLONEL WM. S. SMITH'S HOUSE, SIXTY-FIRST STREET, NEAR 

AVENUE A 127 

BROADWAY, CORNER OF GRAND STREET, l822 131 

OLD STOREHOUSE AT TURTLE BAY 137 

FLY MARKET, AT CORNER OF MAIDEN LANE AND FRONT STREET, 

1822 141 

ST. GEORGE'S CHURCH, BEEKMAN, NEAR CLIFF STREET . . . 149 

CUSTOM HOUSE, FIRST PRESBYTERIAN AND TRINITY CHURCHES 155 

DUTCH HOUSE 164 

UNITED STATES ARSENAL, BROADWAY AND MIDDLE ROAD, NOW 

MADISON SQUARE l66 

BULL'S HEAD TAVERN, SITE OF NEW YORK (BOWERY) THEATRE 169 
BOTANICAL GARDEN, ON MURRAY HILL, FROM FORTY-SEVENTH 

TO FIFTY-FIRST STREETS, l8oi 177 

M'GOWAN'S PASS, 1816. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTH STREET AND 

SIXTH AVENUE l82 

MASONIC HALL, BROADWAY NEAR PEARL STREET, 1826 . . . 187 

CLEMENT C. MOORE'S RESIDENCE igi 

CITY FIRE-ENGINE 196 

ST. THOMAS'S CHURCH, CORNER OF BROADWAY AND HOUSTON 

STREET 198 

PULPIT IN ST. PAUL'S CHURCH 2O2 

" SOUTH CHURCH," GARDEN STREET. BURNED IN THE FIRE OF 

1835 205 

REFORMED DUTCH " MIDDLE," CEDAR STREET 2O 

EGLISE DU ST. ESPRIT, PINE STREET 213 

BROADWAY STAGE AND TATTERSALL's 217 






LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xi 

PAGE 

BROADWAY, NEAR PRINCE STREET, WEST SIDE, 1830 .... 22$ 

STATE PRISON, WASHINGTON STREET 226 

CITY HALL PARK IN 1817 228 

NIBLO'S BROADWAY STAGE, 1 829 238 

BUCK'S HORN TAVERN, BROADWAY, BETWEEN TWENTY-FIRST 

AND TWENTY-SECOND STREETS 247 

THE WALTON HOUSE IN LATER YEARS 250 

TRINITY CHURCH OF 1788. TAKEN DOWN IN I&3Q .... 252 

SIR PETER WARREN'S HOUSE, GREENWICH VILLAGE .... 254 

REMSEN HOUSE, CHERRY, NEAR CLINTON STREET 256 

APTHORPE MANSION, BLOOMINGDALE ROAD AND NINETY-SECOND 

STREET 258 

HAMILTON HOUSE, ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-THIRD STREET 

AND TENTH AVENUE 26l 

M'GOWAN'S PASS, 1820 263 

BROADWAY AND MURRAY STREET, l82O 266 

DUTCH "NORTH" CHURCH, CORNER OF FULTON AND WILLIAM 

STREETS 272 

JUMEL MANSION, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIRST STREET, 

BETWEEN NINTH AND TENTH AVENUES 278 

WILLIAM NIBLO'S " SANS SOUCI," BROADWAY, NEAR PRINCE 

STREET 284 

STRYKER'S HOUSE, FOOT OF WEST FIFTY-SECOND STREET . . 291 

EXCHANGE PLACE, CORNER OF HANOVER STREET 3O2 

JACKSON TOKENS 3IO 

VARIAN HOUSE, BROADWAY AND TWENTY-SIXTH STREET . . . 314 
HOUSE OF NICHOLAS WILLIAM STUYVESANT, THIRTEENTH AND 

SIXTEENTH STREETS AND AVENUES FIRST AND A . . . . 318 

JACOB HARSEN'S HOUSE, TENTH AVENUE AND SEVENTIETH STREET 325 

THE FIRST STEAM LAUNCH 329 

VAN BUREN TOKENS 334 

RIKER HOUSE, SEVENTY-FOURTH STREET, BETWEEN AVENUES 

A AND B 337 

CONTOIT'S GARDEN, BROADWAY, BETWEEN LEONARD AND FRANK- 
LIN STREETS 35o 

41 BRITANNIA," FIRST CUNARD STEAMER 352 

CORPORAL THOMPSON'S, BROADWAY, SITE OF FIFTH AVENUE 

HOTEL 366 

FIRST TAMMANY WIGWAM, CORNER NASSAU AND SPRUCE STREETS, 

, 1798 369 

BLOCK HOUSE, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THIRD STREET, 

BETWEEN NINTH AND TENTH AVENUES 373 



xil LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

CLAREMONT. BROADWAY, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THIRD 

STREET, AND ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH AVENUES . . . 377 

HEAD OVER WINDOW IN WALTON HOUSE 380 

MANSION HOUSE, NO. 39 BROADWAY, OF MAJOR-GENERAL MACOMB, 

LATE "THE MANSION HOUSE" OF C. BUNKER .... 394 

AN OLD-TIME KNOCKER ON A STREET DOOR 4OO 

JAMES HARPER 4IO 

FIRE BUCKET 417 

HELL GATE FERRY 43<> 

STUYVESANT PEAR TREE, NORTH-EAST CORNER OF THIRTEENTH 

STREET AND THIRD AVENUE 433 

BEEKMAN GREENHOUSE 449 

WASHINGTON PLACE 4^4 

RILEY'S FIFTH WARD HOTEL, CORNER FRANKLIN AND CHAPEL 

STREETS 469 

VANDENHEUVEL MANSION, LATER BURNHAM's HOTEL, BROAD- 
WAY AND SEVENTY-EIGHTH TO SEVENTY-NINTH STREET . 475 
"OLD BREWERY," CROSS (PARK), BETWEEN CENTRE AND BAXTER 

STREETS 486 

PARK THEATRE, CHATHAM STREET (PARK ROW) 491 

MAP OF NEW YORK, 1782 57 

PRISON SHIP " JERSEY," 1777-1783 5*5 

NO. I BROADWAY, 1859 519" 

GOVERNOR STUYVESANT'S HOUSE, WHITE HALL, ERECTED 1658 522 

FORT CLINTON, AT M'GOWAN'S PASS . . . . 53 

PARK PLACE, 1836 533 

CITY HALL PARK, BROADWAY. JOTHAM SMITH'S DRY GOODS 
STORE. JOHN JACOB ASTOR's HOUSE. SITE OF ASTOR 
HOUSE AND VANDENHEUVEL HOUSE. SITE OF AMERICAN 

HOTEI 537 

SEAL OF THE CITY 545 






REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 
1816-1860 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

CHAPTER I 
l8l6. JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 

THEY to whom memories and traditions of the city of 
New York are known and dear, who love her fame and 
place, the noble setting of her familiar scenery, and the 
very stones of her streets, have long deplored the lack of 
civic pride among her inhabitants. Smaller cities of the 
New World have wisely cherished their inheritance from 
a fruitful past and communicated it to successive genera- 
tions. The stories of the " Boston Tea Party" and the 
"Boston Massacre," for example, have been spread so 
widely by persistent and most proper efforts of the 
Bostonians, as to become part of almost universal 
knowledge. The night adventure of the pseudo-Indians 
is known, and Crispus Attucks * has become a child's hero. 
It would be matter for surprise, however, were the aver- 
age New-Yorker, born and bred, to discover acquaint- 
ance with the u New York Tea Party," which, without the 
cover of night or Indian disguise, sent one of the laden 
tea-ships out of our harbor back to England, and upset 
the cargo of another into the waters of the bay; or had he 
so much as heard of the battle of Golden Hill,f wherein 

* A half-Indian or mulatto, killed in the affray on the 5th of March, 
1770, known as the " Boston Massacre." He was charged with being a 
leader in the riot, and his body was borne by the surviving participants 
to it, and buried in the public burial-ground with the other victims. 

f The high ground between Cliff and Gold streets near John. In 



2 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the first blood of the Revolution was spilt, two months 
earlier than the "Boston Massacre," and more than five 
years before the Lexington affair. I have no controversy 
with our sister cities who have thus acted wiser than we, 
and am not jealous of their fame ; on the contrary, I 
commend them for example of life and instruction of 
manners. 

Not to be jealous of the historic property of neighbor 
cities is no exalted virtue in a New-Yorker, since the 
romantic and glorious history of his own town should suf- 
fice him. Twice has it been in Dutch occupancy; twice, or 
even thrice, under the British (if we count their return 
after the brief possession by the revolted Colonies) ; it 
was the scene, a hundred and sixty years since, of the 
first victorious fight for liberty of the press ; the birth- 
place of the "Sons of Liberty," organized ten years 
before the Revolution to resist the Stamp Act ; and in 
the same year the meeting-place of the American Con- 
gress (of nine Colonies), with its Bill of Rights, assert- 
ing the sole power of the Colonies to tax themselves. 
And then, the more than seven years' famine and blight, 
the wreck under occupation by the enemy during 
almost the whole Revolutionary period, the city's com- 
merce gone, population decreased more than one-half, 
one-quarter of the houses burned, and many of the 
remainder seized for barracks, hospitals, and prisons 

January, 1770, some British soldiers sawed down a Liberty-pole which 
the "Liberty Boys" had erected in celebration of the repeal of the 
Stamp Act. This action involved frequent and almost daily conflicts 
between the " boys " and the soldiers ; and in a conflict soon after the 
soldiers were worsted, and the affair was from that time known as the 
battle of Golden Hill, where was shed the first blood of the Revolu- 
tion that followed. Memory of the Gouden Bergh, as the Dutch called 
it, survives in the name Gold Street. Cliff Street perpetuates the name 
of Dirk Van der Cliff, and John Street that of another ancient worthy, 
John Harpendingh, who gave to the Dutch congregation the ground for 
their North Church. 



I 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 3 

fallen into decay. No other American city knew a tithe 
of such distress for country's sake, or gathered into its 

annals such store of various memories meanwhile 

tragical, humorous, pathetic, romantic as fills the 
pages of New York's history for those stirring years; 
battles over the ground where her new quarters are now 
rising ; retreats, captures, evasions, daring personal 
exploits, horrors of prison-ships, and every kind of 
moving incident, from Howe's unlucky delay over Mrs. 
Murray's Madeira ' to the tragedy of Nathan Hale. And 
even now the city's soil is sown with relics of block- 
houses and Revolutionary earthworks as reminders of 
some of these things. 

Then came British evacuation and Washington's tri- 
umphal entry, followed almost at once by New York's 
astonishing revival, and opening of her famous career 
of prosperity and precedency. Soon afterwards followed 
Washington's inauguration and residence in New York, 
with the beginnings of the new government in the 
midst of the rising city. Surely there is no need for us 
to envy our neighbors such tales as they may claim and 
own of " the great days of old." 

Of New York's indifference to her own historic treas- 
ures, it has been often said that she is too big and busy to 
care for such things ; and a narrow mind, vaunting itself 
nevertheless as large and superior, has sometimes added 
that these matters are proper aliment only for the 
provincial spirit in smaller towns, where people have 
little other employment or cause for activity than to 
dwell on the past, and where the days are long. Hap- 
pily, the propriety of this large-sounding but small- 
minded declaration is beginning more generally to be 
doubted ; more and more people are discerning the trujth 
that a fond attachment to one's city is not an unmetropoli- 
tan quality; and though New York is larger and busier 
now than ever, it is in these latter days that indications 



4 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

abound and multiply of a re-birth among us of civic pride. 
Perhaps this is largely due to the spirit engendered by 
our modern societies, organized (and much to be praised 
for their design) to perpetuate remembrance of "old, 
unhappy, far-off ' things, and battles long ago" the 
Society of the Colonial Wars, the "Sons and the Daugh- 
ters of the Revolution," "of the American Revolu- 
tion," etc., etc. These, although they are not devoted 
to New York, must yet of necessity pay great trib- 
ute to her history. To them, or some of them, and 
to the feelings they inspire, are due the tablets marking 
many historic spots within our borders ; the care to 
preserve unspoiled memorable sites and other objects ; 
the fine statue of Nathan Hale in the City Hall 
Park, holding out perpetually to the throng of passers 
the graven inscription of his last regret that he had 
but one life to give for his country. Something of 
Hale's spirit (we hope it may not seem fantastic to say) 
appears to be passing, however feebly or slowly, into the 
blood of New-Yorkers. Again they are caring for their 
city, as did their forefathers, with a nourished pride, 
not merely in her growth, her luxury and splendors, 
her unexampled financial credit and marvellous reach 
of business transactions, but also in her history and 
traditions. 

To forward this good work is the main purpose of this 
volume, wherein some of the earlier recollections of 
eighty years are set down, while yet time and strength 
serve for that purpose. My hope is thus to fix some 
portions of the general history of New York in "the 
immortality of print," thereby to enliven the growing 
interest in the past of our beloved city, to increase 
attachment to her fortunes, inspire reverence for her 
great citizens, their good deeds and high achievements, 
her memories and monuments; and so in some degree to 
heighten that just pride in citizenship, which is perhaps 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MA*>R 5 

the mainspring of patriotism. The changes, physical and 
social, that occurred in New York during the period 
amounting to more than the life of a generation, which, 
in these pages, is to come under review; in its topography, 
commerce, manufactures, in the customs, modes of life 
and intercourse of its inhabitants, were so great and 
varied that the instance of friends cognizant of the 
opportunities I have enjoyed to observe these mutations, 
further prompts me to essay a recital of such changes 
and a relation of incidents that have fallen under my 
observation, supported either by a distinct recollection 
or by reference for verification and dates to the daily 
records of the period. I arrest the work at the close of 
1860, because that date ends the period "before the 
war," after which more modern conditions prevailed, and 
it is unnecessary to remind a large portion of our citizens 
of customs and occurrences subsequent to that date. 
Notes and relations similar to these, but of more recent 
date, will unquestionably be supplied from other hands in 
the future, and I confine myself herein to that which, in 
point of time, may by the general public fairly be termed 
history. I have held rather closely to dates, as they 
appear in my note-books, somewhat to the detriment of 
literary form, but on the whole concluding that order to 
be a needful clue for myself and my readers to follow 
through the wilderness of years. Gladly would I avoid 
the frequent appearance of the pronoun of the first person 
singular, but the use of it is a high convenience; the first 
person plural employed throughout a volume such as this 
sounds. pretentious and absurd, besides causing a want of 
directness in communication between writer and reader, 
while the constraint of so-called impersonal verbs, or of 
the periphrastic manner in such phrases as " the author," 
"the present writer," "the observer," is held to be 
intolerable. 

Readers of the present day may imagine for themselves 



6 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the conditions of New York in 1816, on considering the 
fact that at that date the limits of the city as indicated 
by its dwellings, with the exception of a cluster of 
houses, etc., at the locations known as Harlem (One 
Hundred and Tenth to One Hundred and Thirty-sixth 
Street); Greenwich Village (Perry to Horatio Street, 
and Bleecker Street to the river); Bloomingdale, or 
Harsenville (on Broadway, from Sixty-sixth to Seventy- 
third Street); Manhattanville (about Manhattan Street) ; 
Yorkville (in the vicinity of Eighty-sixth Street and 
Third Avenue); and ''Manhattan Island," as it was 
termed (a part of the main-land being intersected by a 
marsh in the vicinity of the ship-yards on the East 
River, from Rivington to Tenth Street), were clearly 
denned to be below Canal Street on the west, and 
irregularly below Prince and Rivington streets on the 
east side; its population being 93,634, and very few 
of its citizens enjoying the luxury of maintaining their 
own carriages. 

In addition to increase in width by the establishment of 
an extended exterior or bulkhead line and the filling out 
thereto, the topography of the original area has been 
materially changed. Thus the many slips or basins on 
the river's front for the accommodation of vessels, as 
Rivington, Delancey, Broome, Grand, Pike, Market, 
Roosevelt, Peck, Burling, Maiden Lane, Coffee House 
(so named from the Tontine Coffee House at its head, 
on the corner of Wall and Water streets), Old, Coenties, 
and Whitehall slips on the east, and Albany Basin and 
Washington Market Slips on the North River, are all 
now filled in and closed, and the only evidence of their 
former existence is in the width of the streets immedi- 
ately at the river front, notably as at Maiden Lane and 
Wall Street. The construction of bulkheads or piers 
above Barclay Street on the North River, and Market 
Street on the East River, was very incomplete at this 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 7 

time, the primitive shore being yet exposed in many 
places. 

While referring to piers and slips it may not be amiss 
to add that, although we have a Dock Department and all 
the variations of dock-builders, dock-houses, dock-men, 
etc., there is not a dock in or on the island of New 
York; there are three in Brooklyn, and not to exceed ten 
in the United States. What are termed docks here are 
piers and bulkheads, constituting a wharf. 

Lispenard's Meadows, originally extending from Duane 
Street on the south to Broome Street on the north, 
bounded on the east by Broadway and on the west by 
the North River, were but partly filled in (see page 16), 
and Canal Street was then in process of grading, being 
crossed at Broadway over a bridge of masonry universally 
known as the " Stone Bridge"; a public-house on Broad- 
way, near Walker Street, being known as the Stone 
Bridge Hotel. Ex-Mayor Daniel F. Tiemann writes me 
that he has often skated under this bridge. 

As late as 1820!, in company with an elder relative, 
occasionally practised pistol-shooting at a target on a 
fence on the south side in this open and unfrequented 
street, between Broadway and Mercer Street. 

The entire island was reticulated with a number of 
roads and lanes, notably the Boston Turnpike, beginning 
at Twenty-third Street and Broadway, running through 
the present Madison Square Park, and irregularly across 
Third Avenue at Forty-fifth Street, east to Second 
Avenue, west to Sixty-sixth Street, and then irregularly 
up the line of Third Avenue, nearly over to Fourth 
Avenue, and thence to Harlem Bridge, at Third Avenue 
and One Hundred and Thirtieth Street. Of roads : 
the Middle Road, from Boston Turnpike at Twenty- 
eighth Street and Fourth Avenue at Twenty-ninth 
Street, and Madison Avenue between Thirty-fifth and 
Thirty-sixth streets, then running direct to Fifth Avenue 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




STONE BRIDGE, BROADWAY AT CANAL STREET 

at Forty-second Street. The old Kingsbridge Road, from 
Eighth Avenue at the termination of Harlem Lane (St. 
Nicholas Avenue), to road at One Hundred and Twenty- 
fifth Street; Kingsbridge, a continuation of Broadway, 
or turnpike to Albany and intermediate towns. The 
Abingdon, or "Love Lane," as it was generally termed, 
from Eighth Avenue between Twenty-first and Twenty- 
second streets to Broadway at Twenty-first Street, 
thence to Twenty-third Street, and to Third Avenue. 
The Hell Gate, from Boston Turnpike, between Eighty- 
fourth and Eighty-fifth streets, to Second Avenue and 
Eighty-sixth Street, thence to Eighty-seventh Street 
between First and Second avenues, thence to foot 
of Eighty-sixth Street, at East River. The Skinner 
(Christopher Street), to Union, between Fifth and 
Sixth avenues, Eleventh and Twelfth streets. The 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 9 

Southampton, from Eighth Avenue near Fourteenth 
Street, northeast to Nineteenth Street, and between 
Fifth and Sixth avenues, thence northerly to Abingdon 
Road, north of Twenty-first Street, east of Sixth Avenue. 
The Fitzroy, from Southampton, commencing at Four- 
teenth Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, 
to centre of block between Nineteenth and Twentieth 
streets, thence across Eighth Avenue between Twenty- 
second and Twenty-third streets to Thirtieth, thence 
through Eighth Avenue to between Thirty-first and 
Thirty-second streets, thence northwesterly to between 
Forty-first and Forty-second streets, reaching Forty- 
second Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues. 
Harlem, from between Third and Lexington avenues 
and One Hundred and Twentieth and One Hundred and 
Twenty-first streets, to One Hundred and Twenty- 
fourth Street and Fourth Avenue, to One Hundred and 
Twenty-seventh Street between Sixth and Seventh 
avenues, thence to St. Nicholas Avenue between One 
Hundred and Thirty-first and One Hundred and Thirty- 
second streets. The Old Kill Road (Gansevoort 
Street). The Lake Tour Road, from Thirty-ninth Street 
and Bloomingdale Road to Seventh Avenue, thence to 
Ninth Avenue between Forty-second and Forty-third 
streets. The Union, from Skinner Road, Eleventh and 
Twelfth streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues, to the 
Southampton at Fifteenth Street and Seventh Avenue. 

Of lesser roads there were: the Great Kill, running 
from the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Greenwich 
Street at the North River, directly across the island to 
Fitzroy Road between Seventh and Eighth avenues, 
thence to Sixth Avenue between Fifteenth and Sixteenth 
streets, thence to " Love Lane" between Fifth and Sixth 
avenues at Twenty-first Street. The Warren, from 
Southampton to Abingdon Road, or from Sixteenth 
between Sixth and Seventh avenues to Twenty-first 



10 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Street. The Harsen, from Sixth Avenue between Sev- 
entieth and Seventy-first streets to Ninth Avenue, 
thence to Bloomingdale Road (Broadway) at Seventy- 
first and Seventy-second streets. 

Of Lanes there were: the Minetta, Eighth Avenue and 
Fourteenth Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues 
to Forty-second Street. The Low, from Boston Turnpike 
at Forty-first Street to Seventh Avenue at Forty-fourth 
Street. The Jauncey, from Bloomingdale Road at Ninety- 
third Street west to Sixth Avenue. The Harlem (St. 
Nicholas Avenue), from One Hundred and Tenth 
Street and Sixth Avenue to near One Hundred and 
Twenty-fourth Street. The Monument (Obelisk Lane), 
Greenwich Lane from Bowery Road to Minetta Creek, 
and thence to intersection of Eighth Avenue and 
Thirteenth Street, where an obelisk was erected to 
Major-general Wolfe. The Amity, from Broadway to 
Thompson Street, between Bleecker and West Third 
streets. The Rhinelander, from Second Avenue between 
Eighty-sixth and Eighty-seventh streets, to Ninetieth 
Street between First Avenue and Avenue A. The Feit- 
ner, from Broadway between Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth 
streets, crossing Eighth Avenue at Forty-sixth Street, 
and Ninth Avenue between Forty-seventh and Forty- 
eighth streets, thence to Forty-ninth and Fiftieth streets 
between Tenth and Eleventh avenues. The Hopper, 
from Fiftieth Street and Sixth to Seventh* avenues, 
to Broadway between Fiftieth and Fifty-first streets, 
to Twelfth Avenue and Fifty-third Street. The Green- 
wich, from Eighth Avenue and Great Kill Road, 
Bowery and Stuyvesant Street. The Rose Hill, from 
Eighth Avenue between Twenty-first and Twenty- 
second streets to Broadway, to Twenty-third Street and 
Third Avenue. The Verdant, from Bloomingdale Road 
between Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth streets to Tenth 
Avenue between Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth streets. 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR II 

thence to Twelfth Avenue; and in addition to these there 
were many private lanes leading from country resi- 
dences and farms to the main roads. McGowan's Pass 
was on the Old Kingsbridge Road east of Sixth Avenue 
and north of One Hundred and Eighth Street; and 
Breakneck Hill rose from Kingsbridge Road to the line 
of Ninth Avenue between One Hundred and Forty-third 
and Forty-fourth Streets; South Street ended at Dover, 
and Front at Roosevelt Street. At the foot of Thirty- 
fifth Street on the North River was a glass furnace, and 
the prominence of the shore at that point was termed the 
Glass House Point. 

It may be of interest to some to learn why the blocks 
located by the Commissioners in 1807 above First Street 
on the east side and Thirteenth Street on the west 
side are so irregular in their widths, and why the wide 
streets are so irregularly spaced, as Fourteenth, Twenty- 
third, etc., some of the blocks varying from 181 feet 9 in. 
to 211 feet ii in., and not one being of 200 feet; and in- 
asmuch as the surveyor, Mr. John Randall, Jr., so person- 
ally advised me, I am authorized to state it, thus: In 
running the line of the central avenue he defined certain 
divisions of the work by his rough or preliminary measure- 
ments, and instead of changing these points, as he pro- 
gressed with his final survey, to the sum of a given 
number of blocks of 200 feet, streets of 60 feet and one 
of 100 feet in width, making 10 streets (with one wide one) 
exactly half a mile, he divided the distance between his 
assumed or trial points by the number of blocks, streets, 
avenues, and wide streets, approximating the distance 
between the points; and as this distance was fractional, 
and the width of the streets and avenues fixed, the 
quotient was the width of the blocks between each. of 
the trial points; and as a result of such a proceeding 
they were fractional. 

The iron railing around the Bowling Green was 



12 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

imported from England in 1771; it is standing at this 
time (1895).' 

At the time here under mention the principal fronts 
of the blocks on Broadway, on the west side between 
Franklin and White streets, and on the east side between 
White and Walker streets, were in primitive soil, and 
enclosed with board fences. Many of the older streets 
still retained names now forgotten. The craze for a 
change, so familiar to New-Yorkers of modern date in 
their loss, for example, of Amity, Anthony, Bancker, 
Chatham, and Robinson streets (to name only the first 
that come to mind), has swept away ancient designations 
that they know not of. Thus, in earlier times, South 
William Street was known as " Dirty Lane"; Cliff, as 
" Elbow Street"; Nassau, originally as "Pie W T oman's 
Lane"; Beaver, as "Slaughterhouse Lane"; Broad, as 
"Smell Street"; Elm, as "Republican Alley "; Washing- 
ton' Place, from University Place to Fifth Avenue, as 
"Shinbone Alley." Hanover Street was Slote Lane; 
Exchange Place was Garden Street from Hanover to 
Broad, and thence to Broadway was called "Flat and 
Barrack Hill," this descent being then a favorite place 
of boys for "coasting." The narrow passage nearly 
opposite from the west side of Broadway to Trinity 
Place (Church Street) was colloquially, if not legally, 
termed " Tin Pot Alley," the title it bears to the present 
day, though some absurd person of more or less author- 
ity has endeavored to effect a change by putting on an 
adjacent street-lamp the name "Exchange Alley," to 
denote a passage wherein less exchange takes place 
than in any other thoughout the entire city. We 
have noted with singular pleasure that when dem- 
olition and rebuilding were in progress in this locality 
that stanch New-Yorker, the Rev. Dr. Morgan Dix, 
desiring to make sure the perpetuation of a time- 
honored name, prepared, at his own care and cost, 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, 'MAYOR 



a decorated tablet of graceful design, bearing the old 

name, which was built into the wall of the new structure 

on the south corner. A tailor's impudent sign has been 

suffered to cover 

full one-half of this 

tablet, and has so 

far been permitted 

to defeat Dr. Dix's 

laudable purpose. 

It may be hoped 

that the tailor's 

sense of his trade 

interest with old 

New-Yorkers may 

induce him to place 

this sign a little 

lower. 

In the lower 
part of the city, 
in Broad Street, 
there were re- 
maining a num- 
ber of Dutch-de- 
signed and Dutch- 
built houses, with 
their gable-ends to 
the Street, and 
sharply pitched 

roofs, with stoops at their front doors. As the defi- 
nition of this word is often asked, I give it thus : 
Stoepen, also een stoep baneke, a seat or bank before a 
house. The aristocratic quarter for residences at this 
period was Whitehall, Beaver, Broad, Water, and Pearl 
streets, and the lower part of Broadway. Cherry, 
Roosevelt, Oak, Madison, Oliver, Harman (East Broad- 
way), and Market streets were occupied by many people 




DUTCH HOUSES, BROAD STREET 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



of position and fortnne. Not only the detached clusters 
of buildings above-named, as Harlem, Yorkville, etc., but 
also Kip's Bay (see page 27), at Thirty-sixth Street, and 
Turtle Bay, at Forty-sixth Street, on the east side; with 
Stryker's Bay, at Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth streets, on 
the west side, were at this date positive and recognized 
localities. Madison Square was a pasture. Tompkins 
Square, with the area to east of it, was a swamp. At the 
intersection of Grand Street and East Broadway (Harman 
Street) was the hill known as Mount Pitt. Broadway 
above Tenth Street was a country road. The Collect 
that is, the pond that had been bounded by White, 
Bayard, Elm, Canal, and Pearl streets, which naturally 
had discharged into the East River through " Wreck 
Brook," across the region still known as "The Swamp," 
but had been diverted into the North River through a 
drain cut on the line of Canal Street, passing under the 

Stone Bridge was 
but partly filled in. 
Many primeval 
streams and water 
courses existed up- 
on this island of 
Manhattan. Most 
of them have been 
filled up, and their 
flow checked and di- 
verted; but though 
not apparent now, 
they still exist, and 
except for the area 

covered by buildings and pavements, with the artificial 
leading-off of rain and snow-water, would appear in 
their original force. In this year Minetta stream was 
fully apparent; and as it was and is of considerable 
volume, it has been a very important and expensive 




TURTLE BAY 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 15 

factor in the construction of foundations along its line, 
from its main source, near the site of the Union Club, to 
its discharge in the North River. Its other branch had 
its source at Sixth Avenue and Sixteenth Street, the two 
joining between Eleventh and Twelfth streets and Fifth 
and Sixth avenues; its course thence being irregular to 
Minetta Lane and Bleecker Street, thence direct to Hud- 
son Street at King Street; then bifurcating and joining 
at Greenwich Street, thence to the river by Charlton 
Street. 

Sunfish and Stuyvesant's ponds were in their original 
outlines, the former bounded by Thirty-first and Thirty- 
third streets and Madison and Lexington avenues, 
fed by a stream rising between Sixth and Seventh 
avenues at Forty-fourth Street, and flowing into the East 
River between Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth streets; 
the latter lying between Second Avenue, Thirteenth and 
Fourteenth streets and the East River, with Stuyvesant's 
Swamp adjacent, an extensive area of low alluvial land 
receiving water from several tributary streams. Stuyve- 
sant's Meadows was the basin of a stream rising between 
Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets at Second Avenue, run- 
ning irregularly to Nineteenth Street and First Avenue, 
and discharging into the East River between Fifteenth 
and Sixteenth streets. In winter the greater portion 
of them was covered with water, and, forming a large 
pond, was a favorite resort for skating, as was Sun- 
fish Pond also. The glue-factory of Peter Cooper ad- 
joined Sunfish Pond., he having previously occupied the 
triangular plot formed by the intersection of Third and 
Fourth avenues as a store. At Seventeenth Street 
and the East River was an indentation of the shore, into 
which emptied a stream rising west of Madison Square, 
and flowing north of Gramercy Park. Sawmill Creek 
rose between Forty-ninth and Fiftieth streets, west of 
Sixth Avenue, and ran north to Fifty-ninth Street, turn- 



i6 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



ing then southwest of the East River at Forty-sixth 
Street. Above this were several streams on both sides 
of the island, notably the Harlem Creek, rising in the 
vicinity of One Hundred and Twenty-third Street and 
Tenth Avenue, and flowing directly to Fifth Avenue at 
One Hundred and Sixteenth Street, thence to One Hun- 
dred and Sixth Street, thence to East River, between 
One Hundred and Seventh and One Hundred and Eighth 
streets. Canal Street: when this great thoroughfare 




LISPENARD'S MEADOWS 



was filled in, it became necessary to continue the original 
stream or water course through it in a sewer., which led 
from Centre Street to the river; and whenever it became 
necessary to clean its bottom, prisoners from Bellevue 
were employed, the vicious being restricted by an iron 
ball and chain secured to one or botfi of their legs. 

Lispenard's Meadows, as well as the site of Tompkins 
Square, were good snipe grounds; while the various 
suitable places above them, notably the site of Central 
Park and the low ground between it and the East River, 
furnished ample extent for an entire day's shooting; and 
Twenty-sixth to Thirtieth, Thirty-ninth to Forty-third, 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 17 



Sixty-fourth to Sixty-sixth, Seventy-ninth to Eighty-fifth, 
and Ninety-sixth streets, on the west side, of which I 
was cognizant, were good for both woodcock and snipe. 
I have shot woodcock in West Twenty-first Street and 
Tenth Avenue, and rabbits between Cato's Road and 
Third Avenue; while Fourteenth Street was generally 
the limit of my shooting-grounds on Saturday holidays. 

What is now known as Brooklyn Heights was at this 
time a high and precipitous sand-hill, with a stairway 
leading to its summit, on which were three houses, one a 
hotel, one a boarding-house, and one the residence of a 
Mr. Gibbs, who brought from his former residence in 
North Carolina a cutting of a grape-vine, which he 
planted in the grounds of his new residence and named 
Isabella, after his daughter of that name; and hence the 
" Isabella grape " of the subsequent and present time. 
Still Hook and Pierrepont's windmill were opposite to 
Governor's Island, near to Atlantic Street. 

Red Hook was a promontory on the Brooklyn shore 
at Van Dyne Street, and Yellow Hook, on which was a 
powder-house on the same shore, was at the southern 
point of Gowanus Bay, all of which, alike to Turtle and 
Kip's bays on the East and Stryker's Bay on the North 
River, have been obliterated by the extension of the 
river fronts. 

Gowanus Bay was very shallow and prolific with clams. 
At low water men were seen "treading " for them; hence 
the well-known truism, " One should never go clamming 
at high water." 

The North River above Barclay Street was not fully bulk- 
headed, and on it but eight piers existed; the point of 
Corlear's Hook, East River, was an open shore, resorted 
to by the Baptists for practice of the rite of immersion, 
and all above North (Houston) Street was a primi- 
tive shore. The Battery, sed quantum mutatus ab illo, 
was the sea breathing-spot, and, in proportion to the 



l8 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

number of citizens, it was much more frequented than 
Central Park is at the present period of 1895. It 
was bounded seaward by a rip-rap wall between it and 
Fort Clinton, now Castle Garden, and very far inside of 
the present extension. A bridge about two hundred feet 
in length connected the shore and the fort. The area 
of the Battery was extended and walled in at a later 
period (about 1823), and again extended and walled in 
in 1856. It was the afternoon resort of children, and in 
summer the evening resort and promenade of citizens. 
Ladies could visit it with impunity, even when unaccom- 
panied by a gentleman. Castle Garden has an interest- 
ing history; erected in 1814, and first named Fort Clinton, 
the result of a mass-meeting held in the City Hall to 
consider the best means of fortifying the city should the 
war with England extend northward. During its con- 
struction a patriotic dame of high social position trundled 
a wheelbarrowful of earth from Trinity Churchyard down 
Broadway to the fort. When the property was ceded 
back to the city by the Federal Government in 1822, in 
consequence of the removal of military headquarters 
to Governor's Island, it was determined to convert Fort 
Clinton (or Castle Clinton) into a place of public amuse- 
ment, and as such, under the now familiar name of Castle 
Garden, it long fulfilled its purpose admirably, and is well 
remembered as the home of the opera and the scene of 
Jenny Lind's extraordinary triumphs. Philip Hone's 
Diary describes it as " the most splendid and largest 
theatre I ever saw a place capable of seating comfort- 
ably six or eight thousand persons. The pit or area of 
the pavilion is provided with some hundred small, white 
tables and movable chairs, by which people are enabled 
to congregate into little squads, and take their ices 
between the acts. In front of the stage is a beautiful 
fountain, which plays when the performers do not. The 
whole of this large area is surmounted by circular 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 



21 



benches above and below, from every point of which the 
view is enchanting." But in spite of the charms set 
forth in this glowing account, the drift of society uptown 
made Castle Garden impracticable as a place of evening 
amusement after a while. It fell into sordid uses as a 
lodging-place for arriving immigrants, and so continued 
for a long space. Now, after a long and needful process 
of cleansing, does it return to its function of amusement 
fitly and conveniently chosen, as it is, for the location 
of the Public Aquarium. 

On the east side of Greenwich Street, near the Battery, 
was the Atlantic Garden, a well-conducted and popular 
resort of the time 
(see p. 60). In 
line with the foot 
of Hubert Street, 
a water-fort stood 
some two hundred 
feet out in the 
river, approached 
by a bridge, which, 
like the Battery, 
was a favorite re- 
sort for the dwellers of the vicinity on summer evenings. 
This fort, built of freestone, was known as the "Red 
Fort," while one at the foot of Gansevoort Street, being 
whitewashed, was called the "White Fort." 

The Spingler estate, on Broadway, from Fourteenth 
to Sixteenth Street, to below Union Square, was at this 
time a market-garden. Originally it consisted of twenty- 
two acres, and was purchased by Henry Spingler in 1788 
for less than five thousand dollars. The Murray House, 
from which Murray Hill gains its title, and which 
remained standing until it was burned in 1834, was on 
a farm between the Bloomingdale Road (Broadway) and 
the Boston Post Road, and running down to Kip's Bay 




RED FORT, FOOT OF HUBERT STREET 



22 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

(East Thirty-third and Thirty-seventh streets). The 
Beekman House, which stood till twenty years ago on 
Fifty-first Street near Second Avenue, was built in 1763 
by a descendant of William Beekman, who came from 
Holland with Petrus Stuyvesant in 1647. Headquarters 
of Sir William Howe and General Charles Clinton dur- 
ing the war of the Revolution, it witnessed many scenes 
of historic interest. It was in this house that Major 
Andre stayed the night before he proceeded on his fatal 
adventure; and, by a striking coincidence, it was here that 
Nathan Hale had been brought for examination after his 
capture, and here received (tradition says in the green- 
house) such trial or hearing as was allowed him. We may 
wonder if the thought of Hale visited Andre on his last 
night of peaceful rest in this place, haunted by memo- 
ries of his prototype. The pulling down of the Beekman 
House in 1874 was observed with keen regret. One of 
its fire-places was presented by Mr. James W. Beekman 
to the New York Historical Society, in whose keeping 
it may be seen. On Broadway, on the Grand Boulevard, 
bounded on the north by Jauncey Lane (Ninety-first 
and Ninety-second streets), was the Apthorpe Mansion 
of an earlier period, and later the residence of Colonel 
Thorne, formerly a purser in the Navy, who married 
Miss Jauncey; the boundaries of this property included 
many acres (see p. 258). The place, for years before 
its disappearance in 1892, was occupied for the entertain- 
ment of target-excursions, as a beer-garden, etc., known 
as Elm Park. On Cherry Street, between Clinton and 
Jefferson streets, was the home of Colonel Rutgers, 
which, after his death, was remodelled by his nephew, the 
late Wm. B. Crosby. Colonel Marinus Willett resided 
upon his farm, extending from Broome to Delancey 
Street, and from Lewis Street to the river. On Water 
Street, between Walnut (Jackson) and Scammel streets, 
was the residence of Christian Bergh, the father of the 



JACOB RADCLTFFE, MAYOR 




BRIDEWELL, WEST SIDE CITY HALL, 1816 

late Henry Bergh; and between the street and the river 
was his extensive ship-yard established in this year. 

West of Broadway, between Eleventh and Twelfth 
avenues, at One Hundred and Twenty-third Street, there 
was a large country residence occupied by an English- 
man, a Mr. Courtney, who, with but one man-servant and 
a cook, lived so retired as never to be seen in company 
with any one outside of his household, and very rarely in 
public. There were, as a consequence, many opinions 
given as to the occasion of such exclusiveness. The one 
generally and finally accepted was that he had been a 
gay companion of royalty in his youth, and that his 
leaving England was more the result of expediency with 
him than choice. The house subsequently was known as 
" The Claremont " (see p. 377). 

The State's Prison building and ground occupied about 
four acres in Washington, bounded by Christopher, 
Perry, and West streets, surrounded by a high stone wall 



26 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

guarded by sentries. An extensive brewery now occupies 
the site of this building (see p. 226). The City Prison, 
or Bridewell, stood on Broadway in line with the present 
City Hall (see p. 25), and the Jail, or Debtors' Prison, 
alike in line with it at its opposite end, where it still 
stands converted into the Hall of Records, the veritable 




HALL OF RECORDS, OR OLD JAIL 

though altered structure of the old jail changed into a 
really beautiful form, though now bearing an unsightly 
wooden top. Between those buildings, where now is 
the new Court House, was the Almshouse on Chambers 
Street. 

March i Hudson Street extended from Gansevoort 
Street to Ninth Avenue. 

In May the Penitentiary adjoining the new Almshouse 
at Bellevue was first occupied, and the convicts therein 
were employed in the opening and improvement of con- 
tiguous roads and streets. 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 27 

Dr. McLeod proceeded to Washington, organized the 
American Colonization Society, and wrote its Constitution. 

The markets were the Fly (Vlie or Vly, an abbrevia- 
tion of valley), located at the foot of Maiden Lane, which 
was this year ordered to be removed (see p. 141); the 
Washington, at foot of Vesey and Fulton streets, on the 
site of the Bear (1814), by which name the Washington 
was known for many years; the Catharine, at foot of the 
street of that name; the Old Slip, at foot of William Street, 
afterwards the Franklin; the Duane, at foot of the 
street so named; the Collect, on the south side of White 
Street, near Broadway and Cortlandt Alley (removed in 
1818); the Greenwich, foot of Christopher Street; and 
the Gouverneur, foot of that street, erected at the individ- 
ual cost of Christian Bergh, the ship-builder in Water 
Street; and one at the foot of Grand Street. 

The Grand Market Place, which embraced Tompkins 
Square, bounded on the north by Tenth Street, south 
by Seventh Street, east by the river, and west by Avenue 
A, was laid out in 1807 by three commissioners, Gou- 
verneur Morris, Simon De Witt, and John Rutherfurd, but 
subsequently was abolished by an Act of the Legislature. 







CHAPTER II 
1816, Continued JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 

OF hotels there were at this period the City Hotel, 
opened in 1805 by John Lovett on the site of the present 
Boreel Building in Broadway ; the Franklin House, 
corner of Broadway and Dey Street; the Park Place 
Hotel, corner of Broadway and Park Place; Congress 
Hall, Broadway near John Street; Washington Hall, on 
the site of the Stewart Building ; the Northern Hotel, 
foot of Cortlandt Street; the Bull's Head, on site of the 
Bowery, now the Thalia Theatre; the Steamboat Hotel, 
Beekman Street, and Hankin's steamboat bar-room at 
foot of Catharine Street. On the east side of Broadway, 
between Twenty-first and Twenty-second streets, there 
was an old and well-known hostelry, known as the 
Buck's Horn; which name was conspicuously painted 
under a representation of a buck's head and horns, 
elevated on a post which was set in a line with the 
present curb, the dwelling being set back for many feet, 
on ground rising fully ten feet above the present grade 
of Broadway (see p. 247). This scant array of hotels 
in New York, at a time within the memory of living men, 
may almost more sharply than any thing else reveal to 
the New-Yorkers of to-day the difference between the 
town then.and now, when it is so filled with these houses 
that even an expert, taking*time and pains, will scarcely 
succeed in numbering the hotels even of the higher 
grade many of them veritable palaces. 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons, originally the 
King's College, built in 1767, and located in Barclay 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 



20 



Street, near Broadway, was the only institution of the 
kind. The New York Hospital stood in the centre of 
the block included by Broadway, Church, Anthony, and 
Duane streets. In front a lawn extended to Broadway, 




WASHINGTON HALL 



and thereupon various societies, as the Firemen's, were 
permitted to assemble on occasion of annual parades, etc. 
The Tontine Building, known as The Coffee House, at 
the corner of Wall and Water streets, was then com- 
paratively new, having been erected in 1794 by an Asso- 
ciation of a number of merchants and founded for the 
purpose of providing an Exchange, as such assemblages 
are termed, for the daily meeting and interchange of 
views, purchases, sales, etc. The fund for its construe- 



30 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

tion was raised by life annuities; the whole to revert to 
the survivor, on what is known as the Tontine plan. In 
this case the plan provided for distribution of the prop- 
erty among seven survivors of a company of two hundred 
and three persons named by the original subscribers, one 
person for each share. In 1876 the division was made, 
the seven surviving nominees being William Bayard, 
Gouverneur Kemble, Robert Benson, Jr., Daniel Hoff- 
man, Horatio G. Stevens, Mrs. John A. King, and Mrs. 
William P. Campbell (see illustration, p. 48). 

In the strait known and termed as the East River, though 
it is in nowise a river, there was off Hallett's Point, in 
Hell Gate, a sunken rock of a peculiar form, which gave 
rise to a whirlpool known as The Pot, which at half 
flows of the tide was of an area and volume to render 
navigation in small vessels hazardous. Modern engineer- 
ing has divested this strait of its terrors. Blackwell's 
Island was at this time still in private hands. More than 
two centuries ago it was owned and occupied by John 
Manning, an ex-sheriff of New York, who was in com- 
mand of the city and surrendered it to the Dutch on 
their attack in 1673; for which feat he was promptly 
cashiered by the English when they had" renewed their 
possession. Manning left the island to his daughter, the 
wife of Robert Blackwell. The City bought it in 1828 for 
fifty thousand dollars. The islands now called Ward's 
and Randall's were then known as Great and Little Barn 
Islands, " Barn " being apparently a corruption of Barent, 
an earlier name. Even " Randall's " seems an incorrect 
title, since the city bought this property in 1835 (also for 
fifty thousand dollars) from the executors of Jonathan 
Randall, who had given twenty-four pounds for it about 
seventy years earlier. This island, then held by British 
troops, was the scene of a sharp action in September, 1776, 
when the assaulting column of Americans suffered a repulse 
with the loss of twenty-two killed, and failed to gain the 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 




THE ROTUNDA 

British ammunition and stores which were the cause of 
the attempted surprise. Coney Island was known only 
as a favorable though remote place for sea-bathing, with 
abundant clams in its creek. 

The Post-office at this date was at the corner of Garden 
(Exchange Place) and William streets, on the first floor 
of a three-story house, in a single room forty feet in 
length, above which resided the Postmaster, Theodorus 
Bailey. The entire Southern Mail, enclosed in two bags, 
was transported from Paulus Hook (Jersey City) in a row- 
boat. One of the basement rooms of the City Hall, a 
house in Eldridge Street, and one in Christopher Street, 
were occupied by the city watchmen, a small band of 
Argus-eyed guardians of the peace, who were mustered 
at 6.30 p. M. in the winter and 9 in summer, and left for 
their homes soon after daylight. For day service there 
were a High Constable (Jacob Hays) and but twelve police. 



32 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

officers; office, No. i, Basement of City Hall. The courts 
were all held in the City Hall. Between the area of the 
park, fronting on Chambers Street, and on the site of the 
present building of the Court of Sessions, was a circular 
building known as The Rotunda, which was used for the 
setting and exhibition of large paintings, statuary, etc., 
erected by subscription at the instance of John Vanderlyn, 
an artist; the Corporation having granted the ground free 
for a period of ten years, with the condition that the build- 
ing was to become the property of the city at the termina- 
tion of the grant. In it, panoramic views of the Battle of 
Waterloo, the Palace and Garden of Versailles, the City 
of Mexico, and others were exhibited. This building 
was occupied as a Post-office after the great fire in 1835, 
and subsequently by the Croton Aqueduct Department. 

The salary of the Chancellor of the State and the 
Judges of the Superior Courts was but two thousand 
dollars, and that of the Circuit Judges twelve hundred 
and fifty dollars. The Court of Sessions was presided 
over by the Recorder and two Aldermen; the Recorder, 
who sat as a member of the Board of Aldermen, over 
which the Mayor presided, was Richard Riker (famous 
as ''Dicky" Riker). In case of fires, the watchmen in 
their vicinity gave the alarm to members of the Common 
Council, who attended the fire, bearing wands as insignia 
of their authority. 

The public officers at this period, and for many years 
afterward, were, as a class, and with some very notable 
exceptions, of a different stamp from those of a much 
later and the present day. The Mayor was elected by 
the Board of Aldermen; Judges, Sheriffs, Coroners, and 
Recorders were appointed by the Governor of the State; 
primary elections were unknown, and meetings composed 
of business men and tax-paying citizens, for the nomina- 
tion of State and City officers, were usually held in the 
public hall or parlors of some of the principal hotels. 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 



33 



Notably, a convention for the nomination of a candidate 
for Alderman of the Fifth Ward, in this year, was called 




SECOND TAMMANY HALL 



under the signatures of the leading citizens of the ward-, 
and the place of meeting was the Washington Hall 
(Broadway, between Chambers and Reade streets see 
p. 29), which would correspond to the Windsor or Mur- 



34 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

ray Hill Hotel at this time. Candidates for an elective 
office did not then expend in the canvass twice, or, as in 
some cases of a later date, ten times the amount of pay 
attached to the office sought for. Candidates also did 
not seek support by the organization of and tribute to 
target companies, associations, balls, pique niques, etc. ; to 
have done so would have ensured their decided defeat. 
Inspectors of election were appointed by the Common 
Council. The ale-house at Frankfort Street near the old 
site of Tammany Hall (the present Sun newspaper office), 
known as the " Pewter Mug," kept by Mrs. Lynch up 
to 1847-48, when it was leased by Thomas Dunlap, was 
for many years before and after this period the resort of 
the leading Democratic politicians of the time; and it was 
here that the claims of their candidates were discussed 
and decided upon. 

The fences around the Park and Battery were wooden 
pickets; flagged stone street crossings were unknown, 

and sidewalks were ordinarily 
paved with bricks. Snow re- 
mained upon the streets until 
removed by a melting change 
of temperature, and as there 
was a total absence of street- 
car rails, carts and wheeled 
vehicles were replaced by 
sleds and sleighs, even to 
carriage- and hack-bodies 
TOWER AT HALLETT'S POINT being set upon runners, as 

is still the case in Boston, 

for example, when they were termed booby hacks; 
the sleighing was thus maintained in good condition, 
and often it continued for weeks. The front walls of 
houses, and even of public buildings, were constructed 
wholly of brick with freestone or bluestone trimmings, 
and it was not until many years afterward that even 




JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 35 

marble trimmings were introduced, and not until some 
time in the thirties that freestone was adopted for the 
fronts. In a very large majority of cases, merchants, 
shop-keepers, lawyers, etc., resided over their stores or 
offices. Venders of oysters, clams, fish, buns, yeast, hot 
spiced gingerbread, tea-rusk, and hot corn, yelped their 
wares through the streets. The "clam man," with a cart 
drawn by a blind, lame, or venerable derelict from the 
Horse Market, regaled one with his, 

" Here's clams, here's clams, here's clams to-day, 
They lately came from Rockaway ; 
They're good to roast, they're good to fry, 
They're good to make a clam pot-pie. 
Here they go ! " 

The baker's boy, in the afternoon, took a basket with 
fresh-baked tea rusk, and cried, "Tea ruk, ruk, ruk, 
tea ruk " ; and the negro woman, in the summer and fall 
of the year, with a simple bandanna kerchief on her head, 
toted a pail, and shouted, " Hot corn, hot corn, here's 
your lily white hot corn; hot corn, all hot; just come out 
of the boiling pot ! " And then another of a like type, 
also toted and shouted, "Baked pears, baked pears, 
fresh baked, baked pears ! " 

Roller skating was not known here until 1838, when 
the Ravels introduced it in their " Patineurs," and so 
novel was it that it caused much comment as to how it 
could be effected. 

Chimney-sweeps, rendered necessary by the general 
use of wood or bituminous coal, saluted the early morn- 
ing with " Sweep O ! Sweep O ! " 

The City Directory for the year contained but 19,939 
names. 

The water supply at this period and for many years 
afterward, until introduction of the Croton, was largely 
derived from wooden pumps set commonly at street 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



corners, at intervals of about four blocks. In Chatham 
Street, at the corner of Roosevelt, stood the celebrated 
Tea Water Pump, of which it was alleged by the house- 
keepers who drew from it, that it made better tea than 
any other water; it was supplied by a spring from the 
hill of sand leading up to the junction of Harman Street 
(East Broadway) and the Bowery. Near Bethune, 
(West Fourth Street), also was a spring of exceptionally 
pure water, owned by a Mr. Knapp, who distributed its 
product from carts at two cents per pail. Further 
supply was obtained from the Manhattan Company 
(familiar now only as the Manhattan Bank). The water 

furnished by this 
company was raised 
from a well in 
Reade, near Centre 
Street, by a sun 
and planet wheel 
steam-engine, con- 
structed in Eng- 
land, and thence 
was driven into a 
reservoir on Cham- 
bers Street, and dis- 
tributed in some 
streets through log 
pipes. In the yards 
of all houses and 
stores cisterns were 
placed to receive 
the rear water from 

the rain roofs (roofs were pitched in those times), and 
from them water was drawn by a bucket and pole for 
laundry purposes and by the suction hose of fire-engines. 
The facilities for local travel in that year will appear 
to readers of the present time even more restricted than 




STREET PUMP 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 39 

were the boundaries of New York. Thus, within the city 
proper one had to go on foot or take a "hack." The 
public passenger conveyance to Harlem was by a stage 
leaving Harlem, at One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street 
and Third Avenue, early in the morning, arriving in Park 
Row and leaving there in the afternoon. Fare, twenty- 
five cents. The Greenwich neighborhood was served by 
Asa Hall, who had a stable in Hudson Street, corner of 
Charles Street, and ran a stage, five round trips per day, to 
the southwest corner of Pine and Nassau Streets, leaving 
Greenwich at the even hour and returning at the odd. 
Fare, twenty-five cents. But seven regular ferries were 
in operation, employing among them but two boats that 
were propelled by steam, one to Brooklyn and one to 
Paulus Hook (Jersey City); all others were horse-boats or 
sail-boats. The ferries were the Fulton, to Brooklyn, and 
the Cortlandt Street, to Jersey City, each having one 
double (or a twin) steamboat, and Fulton Ferry a horse- 
boat and two sail-boats besides ; the Catherine Street, also 
to Brooklyn, and the Grand Street, to Williamsburg, had 
each two horse-boats; the Staten Island, the Hoboken, 
and the Bull's Ferry, from foot of Vesey Street, to Bull's 
Ferry, New Jersey, were operated by means of peri- 
aguas (small decked vessels with two masts and boom 
sails), termed ''perry-augers," and, with the exceptions 
of the Brooklyn and Paulus Hook ferries, at places after 
the hours in the evening for the running of the boats, 
these periaguas were resorted to. They have wholly dis- 
appeared. The fare for a passage on the ferry-boats to 
Brooklyn was four cents; on those to Hoboken, twelve 
and a half cents. The boat to Paulus Hook was unable 
to make the trip in presence of a severe wind from the 
northwest. In winter, the floating ice from the Hudson 
River above would be blown by the northwest winds 
against the piers on the North River side of the city 
and, freezing firm, would so completely arrest the 



40 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

requirements of navigation that it was quite customary 
for sea-going vessels in the winter season to remove to 
the East River to avoid this embargo, and the Paulus 
Hook, and even the Hoboken, ferry-boats would fre- 
quently be compelled to land and receive passengers at 
Whitehall, that is, at the foot of Broadway. 

Regarding the blockading of the river fronts and piers 
at this point and for many years afterward, it is to be 
borne in mind that there were less than ten steamboats 
in service, even in the summer, and not five in the winter. 
The transportation of the harbor, in consequence of the 
total absence of steam tow-boats, or tugs, as they are 
now termed, was actual navigation. Thus, vessels sailed 
up to their wharves or piers, and when leaving, if the 
wind was adverse, a kedge was carried out to windward 
and the vessel warped out to it, from whence sail was 
set, and as a consequence the floating ice was not broken 
up as it was at a later period, and is at the present time, 
by the constant passage of steamers, steamboats, and 
tugs. The blockades of ice in severe weather would 
extend over half the way across the North River, fur- 
nishing skating for men and boys, while the open water 
bordering it would be studded with wild-fowl, some of 
which the divers after the ice had disappeared would 
remain late, and come close to the Battery walls, so that 
boys amused themselves with throwing stones at them. 
In January of this year, in consequence of the continued 
prevalence of extreme cold, and the closing of the 
rivers and bays, firewood became so scarce that hickory 
sold at twenty-three dollars per cord, and oak at ten 
dollars. 

Travelling to other places was a serious undertaking, 
compared with the ease and comfort of modern methods. 
It was exclusively by stage, excepting to points which 
could be reached by water in the season when navigation 
was open. Stage offices existed in different parts of the 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 43 

city as the Philadelphia, Eastern, Albany, Paterson, 
Monmouth, Elizabethtown, Newark, etc. for arrival and 
departure, at stated hours, of stages bearing passengers 
and mails. At such hours there were scenes of bustle 
and activity. Hence to Boston was accomplished by a 
steamboat, the Fulton, from the foot of Fulton Street, 
East River, leaving at 5 A. M., reaching New Haven at 
7 p. M., whence passengers and mails were transferred to 
the Connecticut, reaching New London very early in the 
following morning, and thence by stage via Providence; 
time thirty-eight hours. Returning, the time was length- 
ened, as there were two nights upon the route, one at 
New London and one from New Haven to New York; 
time fifty-two hours. Boston by mail-coaches via New 
Haven and Hartford thirty-eight hours, and to Philadel- 
phia in winter the route was by steamboat and stage six 
times per week, leaving New York at 7. 30 A. M. and arriving 
in Philadelphia at n A. M. the following day; and in the 
summer via steamboat to New Brunswick and steamboat 
from Bordentown, a trip of fifteen hours. To reach 
Washington, advertised as " expeditious travelling," in a 
stage seating six persons, three days' time was expended. 
To Albany in the winter, two days and one night were very 
painfully disposed of for a fare of eight dollars, while in 
the summer the Albany boat, running three times per 
week, on one fortuitous occasion accomplished the dis- 
tance in 19*4 hours, for which feat the performer of this 
oft-told triumph, the Chancellor Livingston, enjoyed the 
then enviable reputation of " the skimmer of the river." 
To Albany by sloop was a common method, though most 
uncertain in point of time; one of my old acquaintances 
well remembered that in 1802 he was nine days going 
from New York to Albany in a sloop. There were no 
less than twenty-six vessels plying to Albany at this 
date, and two hundred and six in regular service on the 
Hudson, to the different towns on its banks. 



44 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

This year a New York and Liverpool line of packets 
was first established the Black Ball, Isaac Wright & Son, 
Benjamin Marshall, Jeremiah and Francis Thompson; and 
afterward Chas. H. Marshall & Goodhue & Co. ; sailing on 
the ist of each month, and in six months after, on the i6th 
also ; four hundred to five hundred tons' burthen; average 
time up to 1825, outer passage twenty-three days, inner 
forty days, European travel, however, was almost wholly 
confined to purposes of business, and even this was of 
rare occurrence. The arrival of a vessel in this year is 
heralded as bringing news " forty days later from 
Europe." Prior to the organization of a line of ves- 
sels from this port to Europe, the mail service was 
performed by British packets of less than two hundred 
tons, hence to Falmouth via Halifax and Quebec, sailing 
on the first Wednesday in each month. In the winter 
season the service from Halifax to Quebec was suspended. 

The Eastern mail to Boston, three times weekly via 
New London and three times via Hartford, Springfield, 
and Worcester, left at 6 A. M., and arrived at the same 
hour of the third day. The Southern mail to Philadel- 
phia left at 12.30 p. M., and arrived at 6 A. M. The post- 
age of a single letter, which was required to be on a 
single sheet, hence to Philadelphia, was 12^ cents; to 
Albany, Boston, and Washington, 18^ cents, and to any 
place, however short the distance, as hence to Harlem, 
6% cents. In determining the rate it was doubled, 
tripled, etc., for every additional piece of detached 
paper. Envelopes, except for Government documents, 
were unknown. Foreign postal arrangements were very 
different from those of this time. Instead of deposit- 
ing letters In the Post-office, letter-bags in general 
were furnished by the agents or consigners of vessels 
and kept at their offices, and in these the letters were 
deposited; but the bags for the European vessels were 
kept in the Tontine Coffee House (Merchants' Exchange) 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 47 

where subscribers to the Exchange, or members thereof, 
had the privilege of depositing their letters, but non- 
subscribers were charged twenty-five cents per letter. 
The name of a vessel arriving off the port was known 
by distinguishing letters painted on her foretopsail, 
which were observed from a lookout station at the 
Narrows, and indicated to the observer at the Bat- 
tery, in clear weather, by the operation of the ancient 
telegraph. 

The daily morning and evening papers were the New 
York Gazette, established in 1725 as a weekly and in 1809 
as a daily, at 116 Pearl Street, by Lang & Turner, now 
in Hanover Square ; Mercantile Advertiser, by Butler & 
Heyer, in 1807, at 159 Pearl Street, and in this year at 
83 Pine Street ; The Advocate, by M. M. Noah, in 1813 at 
73 Pine Street ; New York Evening Post, established 
November 16, 1801, by William Coleman, 106 and 108 Pine 
Street, then by Michael Burnham, a printer at 42 Pine 
Street ; New York Courier, established the year pre- 
vious at 87 Pearl Street; Commercial Advertiser, first pub- 
lished in 1793 by Noah Webster, and known as The Spec- 
tator, then changed as above; the weekly edition being 
termed The New York Spectator, in 1805-06, at 69 Pine 
Street, a'nd in this year at 60 Wall Street, by William L. 
Stone, and later, 1820, with Francis Hall. Sunday edi- 
tions of a newspaper were unknown, and all papers were 
delivered by the publishers at the offices or dwellings of 
the subscribers. Advertising at this period, and for fully 
fifty years after, was practised on a very different basis 
from that of the present time. Merchants, packet 
agents, etc., then advertised by the year for forty dollars, 
and they could have as many advertisements as they 
thought proper. They did not occupy the space that is 
required by many at this time, as they did not resort to 
ad captandum and " displayed" headings and matter. 
Printing was executed by hand, the form, instead of being 



4 8 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



inked by a roller as was later practised, was inked by a 
boy wielding a pad and a ball, who was known as the 
printer's devil. The contrast between the newspapers of 
that time and of the present not always and altogether 
in favor of the modern production is perhaps as great 







TONTINE COFFEE HOUSE 



as any contrast of the two periods that can be pointed 
out. 

In the absence of sewer discharge into the slips on our 
river front, the water was so clear that fish were readily 
taken in the river, and porgies so plentiful that they 
were hawked about the streets for one cent apiece ; the 
average price at this time (1894) being twelve cents per 
pound. Off the bridge to Castle Garden, afterward 
(1823) removed and the entire space between the fort 
and the shore filled in, there was excellent fishing for 
striped bass, weakfish, drum, etc., in their seasons. The 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 49 

house of Peter G. Stuyvesant was remotely out of the 
town, being east of the First Avenue and between Eighth 
and Ninth streets, and that of Nicholas W. Stuyvesant 
was between Thirteenth and Sixteenth streets and Ave- 
nue A and First Avenue. (See pp. 76 and 318.) 

The banks of deposit and discount at this period were 
the Bank of New York, 1784, No. 125 Pearl Street, 1798, 
No. 32 Wall, corner William Street, its present location; 
Manhattan, 1800, 23 Wall Street; Bank of America, 1812, 
corner of Wall and William streets ; City, 1812, 38 Wall 
Street; America, 1814, 17 Wall Street; Merchants', 25, 
Mechanics', 16, Phoenix (N. Y. Manufacturing Co.) at 24, 
Union at 17, and Exchange, 29 Wall Street and Branch 
Bank of the United States at 65 Broadway; and fourteen 
Insurance Companies Fire and Marine. 

The numbers of Wall Street differed from those of the 
present time. 

The combined number of Roman Catholics in the 
States of New York and New Jersey was estimated at 
thirteen thousand; this would give not to exceed four 
thousand for the city of New York. 




KING'S BRIDGE 



CHAPTER III 
1816, Continued JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 

BUT one theatre was open in the city, the Park, built 
in 1798, standing at 23 Park Row, and running back to 
Theatre Alley, which extends from Ann to Beekman 
Street. There was one smaller in Anthony Street, near 
Broadway, which had been opened in 1814, but now was 
unoccupied, and later was the site of Christ Church. Con- 
cerning further means of amusement, it may be noted 
here that at this date bull- and bear-baiting was practised 
as neither unlawful nor improper. The first theatre in 
New York was opened in 1750 in Kip (Nassau) Street, 
between John Street and Maiden Lane. In 1761 a thea- 
tre was built on the lower side of Beekman Street, near 
Nassau, in which during that year " Hamlet" was pre- 
sented for the first time in America. This house was 
wrecked during a riot over the Stamp Act in 1765. In 
1767 the John Street Theatre, on the north side near 
Broadway, was opened; in 1776 the Montague Garden 
on Broadway, between Chambers and Barclay streets; 
and in 1785 two new theatres were opened, one in William 
Street and one in lower Greenwich Street ; doors open 
at 5.15, and curtain raised at 6 p. M. 

At the Park the hour of opening was half-past 
six, the performance beginning at half-past seven. It 
was universally the custom to give two pieces of per- 
formance, generally a tragedy and a comedy; and some- 
times three pieces were given, and between the pieces a 
comic song, a pas seul or pas de deux by danseuses. The 
pit, now termed parquet, was provided with board benches 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 51 

without cushions, and occupied exclusively by men and 
boys; the boxes were enclosed in the rear, the entrance 
to them through a locked door jealously guarded by a 
keeper. There was an advantage in this which fully com- 
pensated any inconvenience attendant upon it, inasmuch 
as the rear wall of the box reflected sounds from the 
stage; from which cause, added to the circumstance that 
the interiors of the buildings were less ornate than at a 
later day, the voices on the stage were much more audible 
than with the open seats. This arrangement left a wide 
space for lobby or foyer, in which it was customary for 
the male portion of the audience during the acts to 
promenade. In the second tier there was a moderate 
restaurant, and in the third tier a bar. In this theatre 
there was a very perfect whispering gallery; the peculiar 
face and arching of the proscenium enabled a sound 
delivered on one side in the third tier to be distinctly 
audible on the opposite side. Upon this becoming 
known it was availed of by humorists, to the dismay and 
annoyance of many who were ignorant of it. In the 
third tier of theatres before this time, and for many years 
after, the class of females erroneously termed demi-monde 
were permitted to be present, and on several occasions 
parties who had better have been absent, being seated in 
the end-box, and near the arch, were dismayed at hearing 
a voice near to them advising them to go home and attend 
to their families, etc. Prior to the closing of the theatre 
for the summer recess, it was the custom to set apart one 
night's performance, known as " ticket night," for the 
benefit of the employes of the house. 

Not a few citizens yet living find pleasure in reviving 
in their conversation the glories of " the old Park." No 
doubt its scenery and appointments were primitive, com- 
pared with the elaborate provision made for modern 
theatres, as a result of the singular development of 
scenic art which has appeared in recent years. Excepting 



52 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

only its spacious stage forty by seventy feet the Park 
lacked nearly everything in the way of physical appli- 
ances that are considered necessary in our theatres; but 
it is probably within reason to maintain that in the 
quality of its acting and of its audiences it remains unap- 
proached, and that no theatre of the present period holds 
the primacy, or even supremacy, which it enjoyed without 
challenge. Even the present generation will understand 
this supremacy of a stage that witnessed to select only 
a few names from the stock company, and stars that 
shone at intervals the performances of Mrs. Wheatly, 
Mrs. Vernon (for many years afterward at Wallack's, 
and still " freshly remembered ''), Mrs. Sefton, Miss 
Ellen Tree, Miss Fanny Kemble, Miss Charlotte Gush- 
man, Miss Emma Wheatly (Mrs. Mason), Miss Clara 
Fisher (Mrs. Maeder), Edmund and Charles Kean, 
Charles Kemble, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Forrest, 
James Wallack (father of John Lester Wallack), Harry 
and Tom Placide, George Vandenhoff, William Wheatly, 
Tyrone Power, Cooke, Young, and Cooper. Mrs. 
Wheatly, so long and so well known to this theatre, 
daughter of an officer in the British Army, accomplished 
actress and universal favorite both on and off the stage, 
made her first appearance at the Park in 1805. She 
retired soon after, but reappeared in 1815, and continued 
her public career until 1848. 

Kinlock Stuart, residing at 40 Barclay Street in 1800, 
and for some years thereafter, failed in his business, and 
in 1807 his wife began, in a very humble way, the manu- 
facture of candies, preserves, etc., at 271 Greenwich 
Street, the partial site of the present buildings that com- 
posed the sugar refinery of the late R. L. & A. Stuart. 
Her business, from the purity of her manufactures, had 
so increased in 1831 that it was assumed by her sons, who 
soon after enjoyed a world-wide reputation and amassed 
great fortunes. Alex. Stuart continued residence in 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 53 

his house in Chambers Street until his death, and was the 
last downtown resident of substance and position. 

Francis Guerin had opened in 1815, at 120 Broadway, 
a shop for confectionery, supplemented by coffee, choco- 
late, pastry, liqueurs, etc. ; and, subsequently extending 
his premises to an adjoining room, he furnished and pro- 
vided it for the convenience of ladies' luncheon. Ameri- 
can ladies, however, in view of the early dinner-hour of the 
period and the vicinity of their residences to the scene of 
their shopping or promenading, had not yet felt the need 
of such a convenience. As the area of houses extended 
farther uptown, and the dinner-hour became later, the 
need of such a resort caused it to be so well patron- 
ized that the proprietor was rewarded with a very hand- 
some competency; he was the pioneer in this line of 
catering to the public in New York. Restaurants, other 
than in a room or cellar, and principally on the river 
fronts, where few and coarse victuals were served, were 
unknown. 

The popular and the largest dry goods stores were 
those of Jotham Smith, 223 Broadway (all on one floor), 
on part of the site of the present Astor House (it was 
but one story in height); King & Mead, at 175, dnd 
Vandervoort & Flandin, at in Broadway. 

Charles Berrault, an tfmigrt from St. Domingo after the 
insurrection there, being compelled to sustain himself 
and family, opened a dancing-school in 1814 at 300 Green- 
wich Street. He was for many years one of the two 
leading teachers of dancing in this city. He afterward 
removed 1031 Cortlandt Street, and in 1822 to 146 Fulton 
Street, in the Ross Building. 

The first establishment for the repair and construc- 
tion of steam-engines and boilers was that of Robert 
McQueen, a Scotch millwright, who in 1806, in connec- 
tion with a Mr. Sturtevant, operated an air furnace 
on the corner of Barley and Cross streets (Centre). 



54 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

James P. Allaire, who had commenced business as a 
brass-founder in the year 1813 in the upper part of Cherry 
Street, No. 434, had so extended his business under the 
patronage of Robert Fulton and the elder Gibbons, that 
he became the leading manufacturer of steam-engines, 
boilers, etc. The famous name of the Allaire Works 
was to be seen on avast number of engines, especially on 
steamboats, at a time comparatively recent. 

Of the change in social, domestic, and business cus- 
toms and conveniences, from 1816 to the present day, 
none but one who has experienced it can give a proper 
estimate. At the earlier date, bathrooms were totally 
wanting in private houses and hotels, and there was but 
one public bath, that of Stoppani, in Chambers Street. 
Illuminating gas for the streets had been read of as a pos- 
sible practicability. Clubs, street stages and cars, Sunday 
concerts, steamboat excursions, newspaper venders, and 
"Extras," street shoe-blacks, kindling-wood, expresses, 
organ-grinders, messenger boys, bananas, oranges other 
than those from abroad dates, grape-fruit, roasted 
chestnuts, photographs, telegraphs, railways, chiffoniers, 
drop-letter boxes, cabs, hansoms, sewing-machines, 
type-writing, eye-glassesother than spectacles and 
cigarettes were alike unknown ; opposed to which we 
escaped the presence of " shysters," tramps, and the prac- 
tice of " straw bail " in our courts, illustrated posters, and 
organ-grinders ; but we had pure milk, a legitimate 
drama, and a more clearly defined line between man and 
gentleman, woman and lady (" salesladies " was an appel- 
lation wholly unknown), and a greater regard for social 
honor and business integrity. 

The spectacles worn by those who required them were 
of a very different design and construction from that of 
this period. Thus : the side pieces were in two lengths, 
one sliding partly within the other, and retained in posi- 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 57 

tion, when used, by their pressure against the sides of 
the head. Light steel frames, resting over the ears, 
spring bows, and pince-nez, secured with a ribbon or 
chain, were not known until about 1840, and not in gen- 
eral use until many years later. 

The absurdities of billiard, shaving, and oyster " par- 
lors," hair-cutting, tailor, boot-making, and fashion " em- 
poriums," " anatomical" hair-cutting and boot-making, 
or " gentlemen's and ladies' dining-rooms," on West 
or South Street, in the condemned pilot-house of an old 
steamer, were unknown. I, in candor, however, may 
have to acknowledge to one or two " merchant" tailors, 
but not like too many of a late day, occupying small and 
confined apartments, with a very narrow scope of cus- 
tom, restricted more to mending than making. Pipe- 
smoking (other than in common clay pipes by laborers) 
was also unknown. 

For spirituous drinks, in most cases, but three cents per 
glass was charged ; for ale, two or three cents ; tobacco 
was three cents a paper ; the habit of chewing tobacco 
was then far more common than now. Imported Havana 
cigars of the best quality could be bought for three cents, 
or five for a shilling (12^ cents), and, strange as it may 
now appear, young men carried them in their hats, for it 
is to be borne in mind that cigar-cases were a rarity, and 
that within hats there was purse-like diaphragm lining, 
well designed to retain a handful of cigars, a handker- 
chief, or a pair of gloves. 

The fractional currency, in this and all the States at 
this period, was very generally the Spanish coins of 25, 
12^, and 6^ cents, and they were denominated in the 
several States as follows: In New England, Kentucky, 
and Tennessee the dollar was divided into six shillings, 
and the coins were termed quarters, ninepence, and four- 
pence ha'penny. In this State, Ohio, and Michigan the 
dollar was divided into eight shillings, and the coins were 



58 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

termed sixpence, one shilling, and two shillings, accord- 
ing to value. In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 
and Maryland the dollar was divided into seven shillings 
and sixpence, and the divisions were termed quarters, 
elevens, and fips; in South Carolina and Georgia, into four 
shillings and eightpence, and the divisions were known as 
quarters, bits, and picayunes. In consequence of the 
derangement of the currency by the war with Great 
Britain, and the failure of many country banks, pro- 
visions were scarce and dear: milk, 12^ cents per quart; 
flour, $15 per barrel; and, a year later, butter, beef, lard, 
pork, and potatoes were imported from Belfast. 

Perhaps I should here remark that there was a numer- 
ous class of caterers to the juvenile or junior tastes of 
the public that has wholly retired from operation. Their 
specialty was to disperse mead, spruce beer, cakes, and 
ginger pop ; their locale was almost universally designated 
by a sign, on which, for the mead and beer, was delineated 
a bottle with a stream of liquor pouring from it into a 
tumbler at its side, with a uniformity of outline and of 
curve that would have done credit to a geometrical 
draughtsman. The ginger pop was designated in a very 




CORNER OF BROADWAY AND MURRAY STREET, 1816 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 59 

different manner, being totally devoid of any illustration 
of convenience or economy; inasmuch as two men were 
portrayed as fulfilling the regulations of a duel, being 
placed opposite to each other and each extending a 
bottle, from which emanated a stream of liquor propel- 
ling a cork, which was as the bullet of a pistol. 

New York at this date contained but two billiard- 
rooms, one in the Washington Hall, the other in the 
Caf<! Fran$ais in Warren Street near Broadway. Ameri- 
can whiskey was not known as a general drink, and mint 
juleps were only heard of as a mixture said to be taken 
by people in the Southern States as a preventive against 
malaria. Rhine wines were unfamiliar, and the use of 
champagne in either public or private houses was very 
rare. 

The employment of ice for any purpose but for making 
ice-cream was unknown. Families used an enclosed 
structure called a "safe," with woven wire sides and 
ends, admitting air and excluding flies (Croton-bugs did 
not then exist), and on these alone they depended for 
preservation of meats, milk, etc. Even the ice-cream 
(water ices were unheard of) was furnished only by Mrs. 
Usher, in Broadway, where the New York Hotel lately 
stood; and by John H. Contoit of the New York Garden, 
in 1801 at 39 Greenwich Street, in 1802 at 253 Broadway, 
and in 1806, and for many years after, at 355 Broadway, 
between Leonard and Franklin streets. The customary 
accommodations of these resorts were confined to rows of 
open apartments, termed boxes, white-washed or green- 
painted, with a plain bare table running through their 
centre, with a bare board seat on each side, capable of seat- 
ing two persons, lighted, that is, essayed to be, by a dimly 
burning wick, floating in oil on a stand outside the en- 
trance; colored waiters with their labelled numbers dis- 
played in front, expressing, emphasizing, and displaying 
themselves in a manner known only to their race, and a 



6o 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



bill-of-fare comprising ice cream (vanilla, lemon, or straw- 
berry, if in season), pound cake and lemonade, with the 
exception that, at Contoit's you could be served with a 
glass of veritable claret, and, if I recollect right, one of 
cognac too. Milk was borne in tin cans suspended from 




ATLANTIC GARDEN, NO. 9 BROADWAY 

the carriers' shoulders, frequently women, and was 
supplied from cows within the city limits or contiguous 
shores of Long Island and New Jersey. As there were no 
railroads or night passages of river steamboats, no other 
sources existed from which milk could be obtained. 
Milk wagons, " Orange County " milk and milk bottles, 
and freshened or fortified milk, were equally unknown. 
There were many cows which roamed the streets in the 
day and were stabled at night. The slaughtering of 
animals for the markets was wholly done by individual 
butchers on their premises in different parts of the city, 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 6l 

the blood and offal being carried to the river and 
deposited there. Gentlemen went to market, and in 
default of express companies, messengers, etc., often 
carried home a turkey, chicken, or a leg of lamb. The 
public authorities gave annually a prize to the farmer 
who submitted to them the best sample of butter of his 
production. 

Canned vegetables and fruits were also unknown ; 
hence, when their season passed they passed, and as rail- 
ways and interstate steamboat lines did not exist, we did 
not receive the early fruits of the South or the game of 
the North and West. A grocer's store of the time was 
as unlike one of this day as if it was that of another 
line of business, there being a display neither of bottled 
nor canned articles, fancy cakes, biscuits, etc., in boxes. 
There were only two leading grocers of the Park & Til- 
ford grade of a later period Richard Buloid at 129 
Broadway and James Geery at 119 Mulberry, corner of 
Bayard Street, who was widely known for the excellence 
of his teas. Mr. Richard Williamson, one of this class, 
appeared later (1825, at 85 Maiden Lane). 

The drive for gentlemen and others who drove out of 
an afternoon was limited on the East side to Cato's (Fifty- 
Fourth Street and Second Avenue), a well-known resort, 
see page 63, where imported Havanas were sold, five 
for a shilling (12^ cents), and pure brandy at sixpence 
(6^ cents) per glass and for many years previous, and 
later, even down to 1830. Love Lane, before mentioned, 
was the resort on Saturday afternoons of cartmen, fish 
and oyster venders, etc., where their horses and those of 
others of a like grade were raced for such entrance stakes 
or wagers as were mutually agreed upon. The public 
race-course was on Hempstead Plains, and known as the 
New Market. The principal or noted restaurants were 
De Cousse's, in Reade Street, under Washington Hall; 
Ainslie's in Broadway, between Duane and Anthony 



62 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

streets; and Lovejoy's, Broadway, corner of Anthony 
Street (Worth). Sunday excursions on steamboats, etc., 
were unknown. It was only at a later day, or about 
1820, that the "Green" and river walk at Hoboken 
became a general afternoon resort. 

The Turtle Club, afterward known as the Hoboken 
Turtle Club, was in existence; notices of its meetings were 
announced as dividends of twenty or twenty-five per cent. , 
and termed spoon exercise. Also the Krout Club, which 
later was presided over by a Grand Krout, who once in a 
year was declared to have nodded, thereby indicating 
his assent to a meeting, which was opened at nine in the 
morning, and continued until late at night; at the dinner, 
smoked geese, "ringlets" (sausages), and sour-crout were 
the pieces of resistance. The symbol of the place of 
meeting was a cabbage on a pole. Members of the club 
were termed cabbage-heads, and a death or absence was 
termed wilting. 

On the eve of Fourth of July, or Independence Day, 
booths were erected around the City Hall Park, and roast 
pig, eggnog, cider, and spruce beer were temptingly dis- 
played. On the following day the militia formed at the 
Battery, paraded up Broadway to the City Hall, where it 
was reviewed by the Mayor and Aldermen, and after 
executing a feu de joie was dismissed. The various civic 
societies met, formed in line, and marched through some 
of the principal streets; the Tammany Society, by right 
of seniority, being assigned to the head of the column. 
Evacuation Day, or the anniversary of the evacuation of 
the city by the British, was very generally observed at 
this time. Horse, foot, and artillery, together with the 
veterans of- the war, paraded. Salutes were fired in the 
morning, and public dinners occupied the evening. My 
readers are aware that this day never passes now without 
at least some slight observance in New York, and many 
of them will remember the elaborate preparations made 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 65 

for celebration of the Centennial Anniversary in 1883, 
and the furious storm of that day, which ruined a pageant 
that, with fine weather, would have been the most superb 
ever witnessed by the city up to that time. 

The chief fuel of the time, and for many years after, was 
wood, sold by the load from the vessels that brought it 
to the city, each load measured by a City inspector. It 
was in full length (four feet), delivered in the street in 
front of buildings or residences, where it was sawed by 
wood sawyers (colored) in two lengths only, and occasion- 
ally split. Steam sawing and splitting mills were not 
introduced until very many years after, and if wood-yards 
existed, I do not recollect one. Coal was very little in 
use for domestic purposes except in parlor grates; in this 
vicinity it was commercially termed Liverpool or New- 
castle, from the names of the ports from which it was 
shipped, and as it all came from abroad was generally 
known as " sea coal "; a title which it bore long after the 
mines of Virginia and Maryland were opened, and which 
is heard in the speech of old-fashioned persons even to 
this day. Anthracite was virtually unknown. Some of 
it had been mined in Rhode Island under management 
of the Rhode Island Coal Co. of 42 Wall and 47 Canal 
streets, which distributed samples of it among a few of 
our well-known citizens to test and report thereon. One 
of them, Martin S. Wilkins, of 53 White Street, upon 
being applied to for his response replied : 

" I am willing to certify that, under favorable circum- 
stances this coal is capable of ignition, and I am willing 
further to certify that, if Rhode Island is underlaid with 
such coal, then, at the general conflagration which our 
ministers predict, it will be the last place to burn." 

Furnaces, hall-stoves, and the air-tight stoves for bed- 
rooms were absent from the houses of the period; and in 
severe weather the best of these houses were much less 
comfortable than many stables of this day. Warming- 



66 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

pans for beds were all but a necessity for elderly persons, 
bedrooms being so cold that washing in the morning often 
could be done only after first breaking the ice in the 
pitcher. The facilities for procuring a light for fire at the 
present time are so widely different from and so much 
more convenient than methods at that time, that the ques- 
tion has been very frequently asked, How did we put up 
with such inconvenience ? The only reliable artificial 
method was that of the construction of a tinder-box, 
filled with tinder of well-scorched rag, a flint, and a suit- 
able piece of steel; or by the rapid operation of a steel 
wheel, rotated by drawing a long cord previously wound 
around its axis; to the face of this was applied a flint, 
the sparks elicited by it falling upon the tinder, to which, 
when ignited, a sulphur or bituminous match, as it was 
termed, was applied and lighted. The French phosphoric 
matches, borne in a case with a vial of a phosphoric mix- 
ture and twenty-five matches, price fifty cents, were 
altogether unreliable. As a consequence of the difficulty 
attendant upon these inconvenient methods, when a light 
was required at night, as in the rooms of sick persons, 
city fire-engine houses, etc., tapers in oil were maintained 
lighted. 

The doors of domestic bedrooms were seldom locked 
at night by the occupants, and the entrances to dwellings 
in the summer season were held to be sufficiently secured, 
in the daytime, by the closing of an outer blind-door. 
House-bells were but very little used; in a few cases there 
were bells for the street-door and the parlors, but gener- 
ally the street-door was furnished with a knocker, and bed- 
rooms were wholly without bells. The very convenient 
custom of residents having their names on an engraved 
plate on their front-doors was in general observance; it is 
to be regretted that it has been abandoned. Domestic 
service at this period and long afterward, or until the 
introduction of illuminating gas, hot-air furnaces, and 






JACOH RADCL1FFE, MAYOR 69 

Croton water, and the construction of street sewers, was 
much more onerous than at this time. Oil lamps required 
trimming and filling; candlesticks, the fronts of grate- 
fenders, and frequently the shovel and tongs of brass, 
were to be cleaned; wood and coal to be brought from the 
cellar to all the fires, and the absence of hall-stoves ren- 
dered fires necessary in all sitting-rooms. All water 
required for the kitchen, or bedrooms, or for baths, was 
drawn from the nearest street-pump, and all refuse water 
and slops were carried out to the street and emptied into 
the gutter; the brass ornaments on the iron railings of 
the stoop, the door-plate, and the knocker, called for 
cleaning; added to which, the street, for half its width in 
front of each dwelling, was to be swept twice a week. A 
prudent person would hesitate before asking a third of 
the like services of a domestic of late years. A full 
beard, or even an imperial or goatee, was unknown, 
except when a native of an Eastern country would appear 
with the former, and as such an exhibition was a rarity, 
the wearer would be an object of general attention, even 
to being followed by a number of boys. 

The city at this time offered but few and restricted 
attractions to a foreigner, but from the convenience con- 
sequent upon its restricted area, the simple wants of its 
citizens, and the dependence upon the comforts of home 
enlivened by evening visits and gatherings then truly 
social, it was a very desirable place of residence; more so 
than it ever can be again, except to those who profit by 
its metropolitan character. In the absence of club- 
houses, theatres, and other places of amusement, and of 
late dinners, the houses of New York were more strictly 
homes than at present. Evening visiting was general, 
and in the winter season quilting parties and entertain- 
ments with hickory nuts, apples, new cider, and dough- 
nuts, were the custom, occasionally varied by whiskey- 
punch not that of the present day, sweetened with 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




SUGAR HOUSE, LIBERTY STREET 



a questionable sugar, and with a slice of lemon-peel, 
but both sweetened and soured with currant or guava 
jelly. Cards were much used; and the elders played 

whist, while the younger 
part of the company in- 
dulged in round games. 
In evening gatherings con- 
fined to the young, dough- 
nuts, crullers, apples, 
hickory nuts, and cider 
were also served, and the 
boiling and pulling of 
molasses candy were ac- 
cepted elements of fun and 
frolic. The'family tables were very simply supplied, and 
the hours of meals were regular; breakfast at eight, 
dinner, which very generally consisted of but one course, 
at from two to three, and supper at from six to seven 
o'clock. On the first or parlor floors of the houses were 
two pantries, in which the table china, glasses, and com- 
pany tea-set were placed, together with the fruit preserves, 
which had been made by the mistress in person at the 
kitchen fire. There were then no canned fruits, etc., 
and so imperative was the duty upon all provident 
housekeepers to make these preserves for the coming 
season and year that such of the few as were visiting in 
the country were accustomed to hurry to the city early 
in September to provide them, as well as the required 
sausages and head-cheese. In all dining-rooms there 
was a sideboard, a large piece of furniture in which were 
held the knives, forks, spoons, etc., of the table; it also 
was the repository of liquors of various kinds, and at all 
evening visits, guests, without exception, were invited 
to partake of a friendly or a parting glass, usually of 
brandy. 

It was not considered at all necessary that the counters 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 7 r 

of banks and bankers should be shut in by wire nets or 
iron gratings, since sneak-thieves and the like were 
seldom heard of. Clerks never ventured to wear their 
hats within the precincts of their employment, neither did 
they or other young men of the day fail to remove them 
on entering an office or dwelling, heu mutatus. The duties 
of the junior clerk of that time were very different from 
those of the present day, both in character and extent. 
He was required to sweep the offices, to go to the 
Post-office, both for letters and to post them (there 
was but one office; stations and lamp-post boxes were 
unknown), and, in many employments, he swept the 
sidewalk and the street to half its width, in front of the 
store in which he was employed. Readers of the present 
day may be surprised to be told that at the period noted, 
and for many years after, blotting-paper, as a con- 
venience in writing, was measurably unknown. Metallic 
sand, writing sand as it was termed, was used for absorb- 
ing ink, and a sand-box was nearly as requisite to a 
writing-desk as a pen and ink. Copying presses did not 
exist, and as a consequence the junior clerk in a count- 
ing house had not only to copy all outgoing letters, but, 
in case of those sent abroad, he had to make duplicates 
to be sent by the next packet; but offices were opened 
before nine o'clock in the morning, and kept open until 
dark; and on packet days, until the correspondence was 
finished, however late. A carpeted office was a rarity, 
while its furniture was of a very plain character. In 
illustration of the sentiments then entertained regarding 
what was deemed unnecessary expense in offices, and 
the evil effects of such extravagance, so late as 1826 
a member of an importing house in this city called at 
the office of a house that had just failed, regarding the 
condition of his claim against it. On his return he 
reported to his senior partner that he was not surprised 
at the failure, as he found a large open coal fire in their 



72 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

office, when it was so hot he had to ask to have the 
window opened, and the floor was carpeted; such extrava- 
gance as that could but, in his opinion, lead to bank- 
ruptcy. So great is the difference between the earlier 
portion of the century and these its closing days, when 
the highest luxury of business appointments is often 
vaunted as a sign of prosperity, and, it may almost be 
said, appealed to as a basis of credit. 

There was a feature in social requirements of that day, 
prejudices as some would say, that was as decided as 
it may be incredible to many persons of the present 
time, and it is one so wholly opposed to existing prac- 
tices that I would not endanger the estimate of my 
veracity by referring to it, but that I have frequently 
mentioned it when in presence of persons of a like age 
with mine, and in every instance my statement has 
been endorsed, viz. : no man who was known to smoke a 
cigar in the streets or at his office in business hours, 
could have procured a discount at any bank in the city. 
There was but one Exchange and that at the Tontine 
Coffee House (see page 48); the hour of meeting was i 
p. M., and the general dinner-hour of merchants and pro- 
fessional men was from two to three; after which they 
returned to their counting-rooms or offices and remained 
until the close of daylight. 

The windows of stores and shops were closed tightly 
at night by shutters, and as the street oil-lamps were 
very infrequent, the streets were so very indifferently 
lighted, compared to the present illumination by electric- 
ity, gas-lamps, and the gas-lights in stores with unob- 
structed open plate-glass windows, that they would not 
now be held to be lighted at all; and besides, during the 
period of a quarter and a three-quarter moon, the lamps 
were not lighted, whether the moon was obscured or not, 
as the lighting of them was determined by the almanac. 

At this time the apprentice system was in full opera- 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 73 

tion; boys desiring to acquire a trade were apprenticed 
to the employer until they were twenty-one years of age, 
and in most cases, as of old, they resided in the house 
of the employer and consequently were subjected to his 
discipline, not only in deportment but as to hours of 
retiring and other habits of life. Workmen, that is, all 
artisans and laborers, whether men or apprentices, were 
employed and paid according to the work performed by 
them, and the estimate of their capacity. Employers 
engaged or discharged whomsoever they saw fit to, and 
although there were not any societies that assumed to 
fix the wages of workmen, the rate of wages for the 
different grades of work and classes of workmen was well 
known and as well observed and conceded. Thus, an 
idle, irregular, and unmarried man, who would be fre- 
quently absent when most wanted, was not paid an equal 
amount with a steady man with a family to provide for. 

A young gentleman of this city, son of a well-known 
and respectable resident, returned from brief travel in 
Europe with his upper lip adorned with a moustache. 
This was the very first display of one by an American in 
this city, and it was so observedly singular and excep- 
tional that it occasioned much comment and criticism. 
So great was this departure from the custom of our 
people that it was not until 1836, and then only by pro- 
gressive invasion upon the general prejudice, that such 
exhibitions, as they were termed, were at all assented to; 
even so late as 1850, I have heard moustaches termed 
"monstrous" by persons of taste, culture, and sober 
judgment. 

The law of imprisonment for debt was in force at this 
time, and the jail for this non-criminal class becoming 
overcrowded, certain of them were allowed freedom 
within fixed limits outside of the jail, or "jail liberties," 
as they were termed, which were then confined to the 
territory below Anthony on the north and west sides and 

3* 



74 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 





somewhere about its adjoining street on the east side; 

notices of the limits being painted on the corners. 

Church service, even, has under- 
gone a marked change. At 9 A. M. 
on a Sunday, the church bells were 
rung, probably for the purpose of 
reminding the citizens of the day, 
and again at 10 and 10.30 and at 2 
and 7 p. M. for the afternoon and 
evening services. The choirs, with 
the exception of that of Grace Church, 
where Miss Ellen Gillingham sang, 
were composed of volunteers from 
the congregation, led by a precentor, 
or, as in the Episcopal Churches, by 
the clerk. In the Presbyterian and 
other Reformed 
Churches the 
length of the 

morning prayer and of the sermon 

was a terror to juveniles, and irksome 

to all others, however much they 

feigned to think otherwise; even the 

doxologies to a psalm partook of the 

general extension. Sunday dinners 

in families very generally were but 

cold collations. The streets were 

measurably void of passing vehicles, 

yet, that the church services might not 

be disturbed, it was ordered that during 

the hours of Divine worship chains 

should be placed across the streets 

bounding a church. This ordinance, 

however, was so generally opposed 

that, about the year 1828, it was universally disregarded. 
Men's and boys' clothing and the manner of procuring 




JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 75 

it was very different from the modes of this time. The 
street dress of gentlemen consisted of a blue coat with 
gilt buttons, white or buff waistcoat with gold buttons 
(I retain a set), knee-breeches of buckskin, buckles, 
and top boots. Spencers, or cloth jackets, in cold 
weather were often worn over coats, and for outer wear 
" box-coats" as they were termed, that is, great-coats 
with from one to seven or more capes buttoned on. 
Wellington boots (introduced and so termed after the 
Battle of Waterloo), cut high with tassels at the tops, pre- 
vailed; they were worn outside of the pantaloons. Shirt 
collars were very full, false collars and wristbands or cuffs 
were unimagined; black or white cravats, none other 
not the ribbons, etc., of this day but stiffened with a 
"pudding" of wool, horse-hair, or hog's bristles; to the 
bo'soms of the shirts were attached low down pleated 
frills. Black clothing was never worn except for mourn- 
ing or by clergymen. 

The full dress of gentlemen was dark dress coat with 
rolling collar running down low in front, short-waisted 
white waistcoat, frilled bosom to shirt, knee-breeches with 
gold buckles, black silk stockings and pumps; watch- 
chain and seal displayed pendent from a fob in the 
breeches. 

The walking dress of ladies, and for some years after, 
was essentially alike to the illustration here given, 
with the variation of Leghorn bonnets or flats, as they 
were termed, which were imported, one entire with an 
additional crown or body piece, in order that by cutting 
off one-half the rim of the full one with the loose crown- 
piece sewed to it, two full bonnets were made. Long 
ribbons were tied in a bow, hanging down from the waist 
behind, near the ground ; and on the forehead marry 
wore at the sides false hair, fashioned alike to short 
drapery and termed frizettes, and all wore high and broad 
tortoise-shell combs. Fur muffs were of the full dimen- 



7 6 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



sions of a ten-gallon keg, and were frequently used in 
shopping as receptacles, as well as for the hands. 

Boys' clothing was made by seamstresses from the dis- 
carded garments of father or elder brothers ; their mittens 
for cold weather were knitted by the female members of 




PETERSFIELD, THE RESIDENCE OF PETRUS STUYVESANT. (See P. 4Q.) 

the house, and as to military or like uniforms they were 
confined solely to the scholars of two French schools. 

In the outer adornment of both men and women, the 
custom and fashion of the day were materially at variance 
with that of the present here illustrated as to men, and as 
to women I am regretfully at a loss for a description ; but I 
know that one article of their underwear, now held to be in- 
dispensable, was not worn by ladies at all until many years 
after. There were at this time but two " slop" tailors, 
as they were termed, and they in Cherry Street; that is, 
stores where one could purchase an outfit of garments, 
designed for the convenience of seamen, boatmen, and 



JACOB R'ADCLIFFE, MAYOR 77 

longshoremen. The descendant of one of these dealers 
now occupies a leading position in the clothing business 
in the upper part of Broadway. Clothiers or " merchant 
tailors "were unknown; as men in all parts of the country, 
excepting those who dealt with the slop tailors referred 
to, obtained their clothing directly from tailors, the 
absurd prefix of "merchant" was then wanting. 

Children's sports were conducted with a measure of 
simplicity far removed from the elaborate provision of 
the "sporting goods" shops which are now considered 
necessary. If a base-ball was required, the boy of 1816 
founded it with a bit of cork, or, if he were singularly 
fortunate, with some shreds of india-rubber; then it was 
wound with yarn from a ravelled stocking, and some 
feminine member of his family covered it with patches 
from a soiled glove. Our skates were a primitive instru- 
ment, compared with those of a later period. The blades 
were very thin, and generally of iron, involving the fre- 
quent filing of the gutters to keep them sufficiently sharp 
for safety; there were heel and toe straps, without screws 
for the heel of the shoe; and as a result, we had to draw 
all the straps so tight, to maintain the skates in position, 
that the necessary circulation of the blood in our feet 
was arrested, and we were frequently tortured with pain 
and cold. The modern effective mechanical appliances 
by which they are now fastened with a single motion 
were not introduced until very many years later. For 
a base-ball bat, if anything better than a casual flat or 
round stick was required,, negotiation had to be entered 
into with some wood-turner to induce him to lay aside his 
regular work to produce one. Then, if the boy could 
manage to be present at the time of the important opera- 
tion, he witnessed it with absorbed interest and bore 
away with him the new creation with gratifying feelings of 
pride and possession. Yet we did play ball, skate, etc., 
and enjoyed ourselves; although in the absence of stages 



78 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

or any means of public conveyance, we walked from below 
Canal Street, the then limit of the city, to Stuyvesant's 
meadow, the Sunfish pond, or Cedar Creek, and were 
satisfied. 

Christmas was very slightly observed as a general 
holiday at the time of which I write, and Christmas 
shopping and Christmas presents, except those of " Santa 
Claus " for children, scarcely existed. New Year's Day 
was the popular winter holiday, the very old custom of 
paying New Year's visits being universal, as indeed it 
continued to be until perhaps twenty years ago (1874). 
There is no old New Yorker who does not regret the 
abandonment of this time-honored custom, however much 
it may be required by changed conditions; especially by 
the extension of the town and resulting enlargement of 
men's acquaintance and visiting lists. 

Notable events in this year were the completion of 
Macomb's Dam, at the site of the present bridge, which 
soon became a justly favorite spot for fishing, the 
opening of Eighth and Ninth avenues and First and 
Thirteenth streets, the extension of Hudson Street 
from Laight Street to Greenwich Avenue, and of Frank- 
lin Street. In this year was organized, under the presi- 
dency of Cadwallader D. Colden, the Manumission 
Society to advance the freedom of slaves at the South. 
On July 5 there was frost in many localities of the 
island. 

At No. 80 William Street a Frenchman of the name of 
Francis Adonis, who displayed a sign reading, ''Hair- 
dresser from Paris," and whose customers were princi- 
pally French refugees, had been a notorious character, 
from the circumstance that from the time of his advent 
here until the restoration of a Bourbon in the person of 
Louis XVIII. he, when in public, bore his hat under one 
arm, in pursuance of a declaration that he would never 
wear one until a Bourbon was restored to the French 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 8l 

throne. He claimed to have been the hair-dresser of 
Louis XVI. 

Columbia College, instituted 1753 and located in an 
area bounded by Murray, Church, the south line 
of Robinson Street (Park Place) not then opened 
through, and Chapel (College Place), was removed in 







COLUMBIA COLLEGE, 1851 

1857 to corner of Madison Avenue and Forty-ninth 
Street. 

The students of the college, prior to its removal, alike 
to the students of other colleges, did not entertain or 
practise gymnastics as an element of college education. 
Of those of Columbia I write advisedly they were 
not members of a boat club, base-ball, or foot-ball 
team. 

On Saturday afternoons, in the fall of the year, a few 
students would meet in the " hollow " on the Battery, 
and play an irregular game of football, generally without 



&2 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

teams or "sides," as they were then termed; a mere 
desultory engagement. 

As this "hollow" was the locale of base-ball, "mar- 
bles," etc., and as it has long since been obliterated, and 
in its existence was the favorite resort of schoolboys 
and all others living in the- lower part of the city, it is 
worthy of record. Thus: it was very nearly the entire 
area bounded by Whitehall and State Streets, the sea 
wall line, and a line about two hundred feet to the west; 
it was of an uniform grade, fully five feet below that of 
the street, it was nearly as uniform in depth, and as 
regular in its boundary as a dish. 

The American Museum of John Scudder, first opened 
in 1810 at 21 Chatham Street, removed in this year to the 
west end of the building of the New York Institution, on 
Chambers Street. 

The block bounded by Centre, Leonard, Elm, and 
Franklin streets was occupied by the city, and known as 
the Corporation Yard, where the fire-engine and ladder 
trucks were built and equipped, and light work was done 
connected with repairs of public buildings, coffins for 
paupers, etc. The American Bible Society was organized 
in May of this year, and its first publication was issued, 
in 1819, from No. 20 Slote Lane.* David Bruce, from 
Scotland in 1793, first introduced stereotyping. Later, 
he was the senior member of the firm of David & George 
Bruce. 

At this period there were but ten wards in the city. 
Arson was punishable with death. Slavery existed, 
both slaves and their "times" were advertised in daily 
papers. 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin Moore, second Bishop of 
New York, died in February of this year, being succeeded 
in office by his coadjutor, John Henry Hobart, who dis- 
played distinguished ability in his administration during 
the next fifteen years. 

* Now non-existing. 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 




NEW YORK INSTITUTION OR ALMSHOUSE AND PART OF JAIL 

The names of the following streets were changed 
previous to the date of these reminiscences, but were 
frequently referred to under their original names. 



OLD 


NHW 


OLD 


NEW 


Crown, . . 


Liberty Street. 


Little Dock, 


South, between Whitehall 


Dock, . . . 


Pearl, between Broad and 




and Old Slip. 




Hanover Square.. 


Little Queen, 


Cedar. 


Duke, . . . 


South William. 


Magazine, . 


Part of Pearl. 


Dyes, . . . 


Dey. 


Partition, 


Fulton, between Broad- 


Fair, . . . 


Fulton, between Broad- 




way and North River. 




way and Cliff. 


Princess, 


Beaver, between Broad 


George, . . 


Spruce. 




and William. 


King George, 


William, between Frank- 


Queen, . . 


Pearl, between Wall and 




fort and Pearl. 




Broadway. 


King, . . . 


Pine. 


Robinson, 


Park Place. 






St. James, . 


James. 



CHAPTER IV 

JACOB RADCLIFFE (1817-1818), CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN 
(l8l8), MAYORS 

1817. IN this year were opened the following streets : 
First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Orchard, Chrystie, 
Forsyth, Eldridge, Allen, and Ludlow, the five last named 
after military and naval heroes, viz. : Lieutenant-colonel 
John Chrystie, killed on the Niagara frontier; Lieutenant- 
colonel Forsyth of the Rifles, wounded in Canada in the 
same year ; Lieutenant Eldridge, scalped in Canada ; 
Lieutenant William H. Allen, wounded in the action 
between the Argus and H. B. M. S. Pelican ; Lieu- 
tenant Ludlow, killed in the engagement between the 
Chesapeake and H. B. M. S. Shannon. Pike Street per- 
petuates the name of General Pike, killed in the attack 
upon York (Toronto), Canada all in the same year of 
1813. 

Anthony Street (Worth), had been extended to Orange 
(Baxter), making at the intersection with Cross (Park) 
Street, five angular corners ; these were designated and 
known as the "Five Points" a locality that attained a 
national reputation as the resort of the abandoned of 
both sexes and of all nations. 

This year saw the beginning of the North River 
Steamboat Co., hence to Albany. In evidence of the 
rising commerce of New York at this time it should be 
noted here that on March 8 twenty-five square-rigged 
vessels, besides schooners and sloops, proceeded to sea, 
and on the yth of November following there were 
thirty-six arrivals of sea-going vessels inside Sandy Hook. 
In August a horse-boat was for the first time put on the 






JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 85 

ferry to Hoboken. On November 29 the Staten Island 
Ferry was improved by employment of a steamboat, the 
Nautilus, making four trips a day ; fare twenty-five cents. 
Captain Cornelius Vanderbilt (afterward the "Commo- 
dore "), as owner and master of the rowing and sailing 




NO. i BROADWAY, 1817 

ferry-boat Dread, took from the ship Neptune, stranded 
at Sandy Hook, four hundred and six thousand dollars 
in specie. Attached to the Fire Department was a float- 
ing fire-engine, the machinery of which some years after 
was transferred over a well in what was then the Corpora- 
tion Yard, now the site of the Tombs, and designated 
Supply Engine No. i. 

The Custom House occupied the new building at the 



86 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

corner of Wall and Nassau streets (see page 155), which 
was taken down 1834, and replaced with a new structure 
which is now the Subtreasury. On February 20 the banks 
resumed specie payments. The New York Exchange 
Board of Brokers in this year consisted of twenty-eight 
members. The City Directory (Longworth's) contained 
but 19,677 names; it is worthy of note that up to about the 
year 1825 this publication gave in addition to names and 
residences information, complete as to some matters but 
as to others only partial, as concerning the tariff, some city 
ordinances, the courts, the common council, watchmen, 
nurses, firemen, etc. In December of the year it was 
officially estimated that there were twenty thousand hogs 
running at large in the streets of the city. The question 
was asked about this time why the rear of the City Hall 
had been made of freestone, while its front and ends 
were of white marble, and the explanation was given that 
at the time the Hall was designed its location was so far 
up-town that the authorities of the day decided it would 
be useless to incur the cost of a marble rear, when there 
would be few or none to see it; as a writer of that period 
declared, it " would be out of sight of all the world." 

In these days our civic fathers met in council in the 
afternoon and adjourned promptly at six, when the 
Keeper (Custodian) of the City Hall received them in the 
"tea room," as it was termed, where a substantial 
entertainment was provided, followed by schnapps and 
pipes. 

The name of the triangular plot at the intersection of 
Cherry and Pearl streets, or St. George's Square, was 
changed to Franklin Square, and it is an odd coincidence 
that in this same year James and John Harper began 
business at the corner of Front and Dover Streets; the 
chief significance of Franklin Square at the present day 
being the long continuance there of the great publishing- 
house of Harper & Bros., thus founded in the year when 



JACOB RADCLIFFE, MAYOR 87 

the Square was named in honor of a very eminent 
printer. 

It was in this year that the Legislature authorized the 
construction of the Erie Canal, from Albany to Buffalo, 
approved by the Council of Revision; a distance of 363 
miles, with a width at surface of 40 feet, at bottom 28 
feet, and a depth of 4 feet, locks 90 feet in length and 15 
feet in width. The first shovelful of earth was raised on 
July 4 of this year at Rome, and the work was finished 
in 1825. 

In Canal Street on the west side, near to Broadway, 
there was on Saturday afternoons a horse-market at 
which the street venders of fish, oysters, clams, etc., 
supplied themselves; the prices varying from dollars to 
cents. It has been told that on one occasion one of a 
family of children, who had been indulged with a ride on 
one of her father's horses, was so pleased with the amuse- 
ment that she solicited her mother to aid her father 
with anqther shilling, to enable him to buy a " bully 
one." 

At this date, or just before, there was a notorious 
character called " Potpie " Palmer, who was said to have 
entered a kitchen during the War of the Revolution and 
run off with a potpie. He is here mentioned because his 
name was a by-word among the boys of the time, 
coupled with the declaration, 

" Potpie Palmer was a jolly old soul, 

With a three-cornered hat and the pie he stole." 

He was also the "bugbear," or croqiie-mitaine, held up 
by mothers and nurses to frighten unruly children into 
submission. 

M. Paff, known as "Old Faff," formerly at 20 Wall 
Street, now kept a variety or bric-a-brac store at 221 
Broadway, on a part site of the present Astor House. 
He also bought and sold paintings, and some marvellous 



88 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

stories were told of his availing himself of his knowledge 
in purchasing old, laid-aside paintings, restoring them, 
and selling them at a great profit. 

In November the soi-disant Baron von Hoffman, last 
from St. Thomas, landed in New York, having crossed 
the North River from Paulus Hook (Jersey City) in a 
rowboat, and in explanation of his want of a wardrobe, 
letters of introduction, etc., he alleged that his trunks 
were lost in transit on the river. 

A daily paper recited, as a matter of interesting infor- 
mation, that in Paris there were street shoeblacks, and 
the announcement gave rise to much speculation and even 
wonderment, for at this time the industry of boot and 
shoe blacking was confined to persons usually occupying 
a low-rent cellar, who called at your residence in the 
forenoon, received your boots and shoes of the previous 
day's wear and returned them cleaned in the afternoon, 
terms one dollar per month. 

At this time, and later, ladies walking to or from any 
public place along a crowded sidewalk were commonly 
subject to the indignity of having their dresses maliciously 
defiled by tobacco juice ejected upon them by evil-dis- 
posed persons from behind. So frequent were the per- 
petrations of this offence that the newspapers of the day 
referred to it, and ladies were restricted to the wear of 
dresses that would be the least injured by this pollution. 
I know of a case where a Cashmere shawl was much 
injured, it is yet in existence, and soon after an ex- 
pensive dress was soiled. As I have already remarked, 
the custom of tobacco chewing was very common at the 
time under mention. I offer no apology for the mention 
of these trivialities, only explaining that under the con- 
ditions of the period the small size of New York and 
the dearth of more significant general news trifles 
became important, and were made the subjects of town- 
talk. To report them, therefore, is to illustrate the life 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 89 

of that day, and my concern is to reveal New York as 
it actually was near eighty years ago, not to maintain 
"the dignity of history." This explanation is to be 
applied to all cases wheresoever I deal with matters of 
small import in the course of this volume. 

Before the introduction of shop butchers, when a 
butcher in any of the public markets became possessed of 
an exceptionally fine beef or a number of sheep, he would 




WALTON HOUSE, FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEAR PECK SLIP, 1776 

parade them through the principal streets, as Broadway, 
Bowery, Greenwich, and Grand streets, preceded by a 
band of music and followed by the fellow-butchers of his 
market, with their aprons and sleeves on, in their wagons 
(of a different construction from that of a later time), 
the cortege being arrested before the house of the cus- 
tomers of the butcher, when it was expected of the 
occupants to step out and give an order for such part of 
the animal paraded as they elected. 

A large building on the East side of Broadway, between 
Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets, was known as the 



90 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Manhattan Bank 8 , and so designated in a map of a later 
day; but why so termed I have forgotten. 2 

The weather at this time was so intensely cold that the 
head and all harbors of Long Island Sound were closed 
by ice. 

Manufacturers, ship and house builders, masons, etc., 
made their business calls and city travel on horseback to 
such an extent that on a Saturday one would see a dozen 
saddled horses hitched to awnings and lamp-posts in and 
about Wall Street. 

1818. All the public bulkheads and piers (commonly 
and erroneously termed docks) and slips were rented for 
one year for $42,750. Essex Market, on Grand between 
Essex and Ludlow streets, was built. Fourth Street and 
Sixth Avenue, from Carmine Street to Greenwich Lane, 
were opened. 

The Chambers Street (later the Bleecker Street), the 
first bank for savings, was opened on 26th of March in a 
room in the basement of the New York Institution, which 
was a building on the site of the present Court House, and 
used as an Almshouse, Court House, and in part by Scud- 
der's Museum (see ante p. 83), and in this its first year 
two hundred and thirteen thousand dollars were received 
by it. This bank has continued always a monument of 
wise and honest management, conducted in the spirit of 
its originators, who at its beginning declared their objects 
to be "to cherish meritorious industry, to encourage 
frugality and retrenchment, and to promote the welfare 
of families, the cause of morality, and the good order of 
society." Philip Hone records in his " Diary," under 
date of July 12, 1841, on taking office as president of 
this bank, his gratification "at having been elevated by 
the unanimous vote of my associates to the honorable 
station of president of the greatest associated institution 
in the United States " greatest, he goes on to say, in 
influence and volume of business transacted, and then 



CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 91 

adds, "and greatest (I think I may from experience assert) 
in the good which it has already done and all it may 
hereafter (with a continuance of the blessings of Al- 
mighty God) be the means of doing." This is a vibration 
of the keynote struck by the founders of the institution; 
they and their successors for a long time gave their 
services as managers gratuitously, however absorbing 
and laborious the duty might have been. The list of 
elder Presidents includes, besides Mr. Hone, the names 
of John Pintard, Najah Taylor, Marshall S. Bidwell, John 
C. Green, and Robert Lenox Kennedy, while the present 
trustees compose a gathering of men foremost in New 
York for business capacity and integrity. This bank, 
until lately known as the Bleecker Street, is now -at 
Fourth Avenue and Twenty-second Street. 

The average of the passages in 1817, hence to Liver- 
pool, was twenty-three days, and from Liverpool to this 
port, forty-five days. In August a London newspaper 
acknowledged receiving advices from India by way of 
New York. 

On political occasions a buck's tail was worn in front 
of the hat by the Republicans (Democrats), members of 
the Tammany Society; it was held to be a symbol of 
Liberty, and had been originally worn in the Revolution 
to distinguish Whigs from Tories. 

As an illustration of the nationality of our citizens at this 
time, so few were the Germans that, upon occasion of a 
well-known and intelligent citizen of Hackensack being 
asked if the language he spoke (now known as Jersey 
Dutch) was alike to that of the Germans, he replied he 
did not know, but that one of his neighbors had met a 
German and spoken to him, but he did not understand 
him. So rare was then the meeting with a German in 
New York ! 

In consequence of the frequent robbing of the United 
States mail-coach, between this city and Washington, the 



92 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Post-office Department was compelled to employ guards, 
and offer arms to the passengers ;-and piracy was so com- 
mon in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico that the 
Government fitted out and despatched cruisers for its 
suppression. 

John Barnes, comedian, and* for many years a well- 
known and popular member of the Park Theatre Com- 
pany ; Miss Leesugg, afterward the wife of James Hackett ; 
and James W. Wallack, all of England, made their first 
appearance here in this year. September, Wallack first 
appeared as Macbeth, thus beginning what was destined 
to be a long and brilliant career in New York. He came 
here again ten years later. 

At the New Market course in May, American Eclipse, 
owned by C. H. Van Ranst, a horse that became famous 
some years after as the winner of the great stake of 
twenty thousand dollars (1824) at Union Course, L. I., 
ran a first heat of three miles in six minutes and four 
seconds, and a second in six minutes and five seconds. 

That familiar and .ever to be remembered house of 
entertainment, the City Hotel, on the west side of 
Broadway, opened in 1806, occupied the front from 
Thames to Cedar Street. It was kept by Chester Jen- 
nings, assisted by the celebrated Willard, who, for his 
urbanity of manner and wonderful remembrance of per- 
sons, was the theme of many a tale. Abram C. Dayton, 
in his interesting "Last Days of Knickerbocker Life," 
relates the following tale: " A gentleman, with nothing 
peculiar in person, name, or position to fix his identity, 
had been a transient guest of the house, but owing to 
a serious illness of a favorite child, his stay had been 
prolonged many days beyond his anticipations, and on 
the convalescence of the patient he had paid his bill and 
left for his distant home. Nothing more. He did not 
even remember that Willard had exchanged with him any 
other than the most ordinary civilities. After an absence 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 95 

of more than five years, business called him once more to 
the city, and, with carpet-bag in hand, he stood face to 
face with Willard, awaiting his turn to put down his name 
and to be assigned an apartment. Ere he had uttered 
a word, or given the slightest sign of recognition, the 

traveller was astounded by: 'How are you, Mr. ? 

Hope your boy recovered ! Glad to see you again ! 

Show this gentleman to his old room, No. '" 

There was at this period a well-known lounger on 
Broadway of the name of McDonald Clarke, who was 
known in consequence of his writings and some eccentric 
manners of dress and expression as the "mad poet." 
An elegy he wrote upon his mother indicated talent far 
above mediocrity. In an interview with him and an 
editor of a paper, the conversation turned upon ancestry; 
when the former said, "If you seek for ancestry in this 
city, you are most likely to stumble over a lap-stone or 
a butcher's stall." He died on March 5, 1842, in the 
Poorhouse. In July the soi-disant Baron von Hoffman, 
before referred to, essayed, or affected, to stab him- 
self. The operations of this man filled for more than 
a year so general and so conspicuous a place in the eyes 
of the public, and in the interest and communications 
of society, that they are worthy of a reference. Land- 
ing upon a pier in the city, without baggage (alleged to- 
have been lost in transit of the river, as before men- 
tioned), he announced himself as Baron von Hoffman, 
and being accredited and received as such, he soon 
displayed himself as a gentleman of connections and 
fortunes. His turnout, a tilbury, with a horse laden 
with gilded harness, was daily seen in Broadway. As it 
became indispensably necessary for him to me'et the 
expenses of his establishment, repay borrowed moneys, 
and retain his position, he paid his addresses to a lady 
of this city and was well received and welcomed; but, 
unfortunately for him, a friend of the lady's accidentally 



96 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

discovered in a jeweller's shop on Broadway the rejected 
corner of a piece of parchment, which, appearing to him 
to have its inner lines alike to that of a seal he had just 
seen on a patent of nobility of the baron's, he took 
possession and compared it, and thus closed the career in 
this country of one of the most pretentious swindlers 
that ever appeared here. Much more in connection 
with this affair might be written, but insomuch as there 
are relations and descendants of the persons that figured 
in it, it is proper to omit further mention. The man 
had been a valet and a courier. 

There ' were not in this year ten private carriages 
proper. Many years past I essayed to recapitulate the 
number of citizens who possessed them, and I could not 
exceed seven, and to meet some one or more I may have 
missed, I put the number as first above. 

James D. Oliver, a barber, occupied the upper part 
of the store No. 27 Nassau Street, corner of Maiden 
Lane, from 1818. Many of his patrons were the celebri- 
ties of the period; being observing, loquacious, and 
caustic in his remarks, the barber and his sayings were 
frequently quoted. 

The price of the best beef in the market was at this 
date 12^ cents per pound; mutton, 8 cents; fowls, per 
pair, 56 cents ; oak wood, $2.25 per cord; walnut, $3.50, 
and pine, $1.62^. Shad, unless brought from Phila- 
delphia by stage and steamboat, were not in the market 
until they were taken in the Upper Bay and North River. 

At No. 269 Broadway, near Warren Street, there was 
the confectionery shop of Peter Cotte, who occasionally 
received a bunch of bananas, which he displayed outside 
to the wonder of a great proportion of our citizens, 
juveniles, and country people. He procured them from 
some venturesome officers of a vessel trading from 
Havana. 

The Richmond Hill House, built in 1760, was located 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 



97 



on a hill of considerable elevation, commanding a fine 
prospect, its site bounded by Varick, Charlton, Mac- 
dougal, and Vandam streets. It was occupied by 
General Washington in 1776, and by Vice-president 
Adams in 1788 : when its advantages as a country resi- 
dence were described as being one and one-half miles from 
the city. Built for his pleasure by Paymaster-general 
Mortier of the British Army, it was the scene of lavish 
hospitality in his day, as well as when it was in the 
dignified occupancy of John Adams, while he resided 
there. Then, in 1804, it passed by lease into Aaron 
Burr's possession, who dwelt here while he also was 
Vice-president, and for a considerable term besides. 
Even after Burr's tenancy the house maintained its 
traditionary fame as the seat of elegant private life. 
Being located on very high ground, in order to reduce 
it to the grade of the street it was this year under- 
mined, rested on a cradle or sliding ways, and launched 







RICHMOND HILL HOUSE, VARICK STREET, BETWEEN CHARLTON AND 
VANDAM STREETS 

4 



98 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

to the desired locality and grade. In 1834 it was added 
to and converted into a theatre known as the Richmond 
Hill, and subsequently was used as a road house. At 
this theatre (Richmond Hill), on the occasion of a row 
in the gallery, a coal stove in full ignition was hurled 
from it to the pit, and "Bill" Harrington, well-known 
from his defeat of his opponent in a ring in Philadelphia, 
took an active part in protecting parties who were 
present in the boxes. 

Boarding-schools for boys were very differently oper- 
ated from those of a later period, and, writing from ex- 
perience, I can report that school was always opened 
with the reading of a chapter from the Bible. The range 
of our school-books was very limited ; we were examined 
on Fridays as to our retention of that we had been taught 
or acquired during the preceding days of the week, and 
if we failed twice (two marks) we lost the Saturday holi- 
day. On Sundays we were not only compelled to attend 
both morning and afternoon service, when the " minister," 
preparatory to giving the text of his sermon, laid his 
watch in front of him, and resolutely, consistently, and 
punctually read from his manuscript one full hour; and 
during the intervals between rising, meals, and sermons, 
we were not allowed to indulge in any amusement, or to 
read other than the Bible, and loud talking and laughing 
were offences not readily pardoned. 

We were allowed two vacations of one week each in 
April and September, to enable us to procure clothes 
suited to the coming season, and on two of our National 
holidays, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day. Christ- 
mas and New Year's were ignored; and we were neither 
drilled or uniformed, but often striped. In fact, 

" When I was a schoolboy, aged ten, 

Very few were the books that I knew ; 
With my short, striped trousers and now and then 
With a stripe on my jacket, too." 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 



99 



Morning prayer, schoolroom, and the Bible were the 
three great lights or guides of our faith and duties, which 
were supplemented by three lesser, as " Lindley Murray," 
"Daboll," and a birch rod; and it is worthy of record 
that then, and for many years after, our school-books 
were very primitive. Analytical treatises in arithmetic, 
mechanics, chemis- 
try, and physics; 
familiar and in- 
structive readers in 
history, etc. ; ety- 
mology, descriptive 
geography, et id 
genus omne, were 
wholly unknown to 
us. There were 
bounds assigned 
out of which we 
were not permitted 
to pass, and there 
were no evening 
or other amuse- 
ments extra muros, yet we enjoyed the gathering of 
fruits and nuts, base-ball, skating, and coasting in their 
seasons; and in our rambles of a Saturday holiday, woe 
to any snake we met, as neither a bog nor the interstices 
of a stone wall were security against the zealous labors 
of twenty hands; the point of honor (unless he was a 
constrictor or venomous) was to take him by the tail and 
snap his head off. 

John Street Church (Methodist) was dedicated in this 
year. 

Dr. Jacob Rabineau was proprietor and operator of a 
floating swimming-bath, located in the season at foot of 
Warren Street. One day in the week was assigned for 
the exclusive use of females. 




METHODIST CHURCH, JOHN STREET. 1768 



100 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

James and John Harper, subsequently Harper & Bros., 
in this year printed and issued their first book, Locke's 
" Essay Concerning Human Understanding." 

The Humane Society provided "apparatus for the 
recovery of drowned persons," as it was termed, and 
deposited one at Brooklyn Ferry House, one at City Dis- 
pensary, and one in a building at the corner of Green- 
wich (No. 296) and Duane streets. The notice which 
was attached to the front of the building was there until 
within a few years (1895). 

The commissioners of the Almshouse established a soup 
house at corner of Cross Street (which ran from Cham- 
bers to Duane Street) and Tryon Row. 

It was in July of this year that the remains of General 
Richard Montgomery, killed in the assault on Quebec in 
December, 1775, were transferred from Canada to St. 
Paul's chapel. Congress, in 1776, had voted the ceno- 
taph to his memory that is set in the east front of St. 
Paul's. Governor Clinton notified Mrs. Montgomery of 
the time when the steamboat, the Richmond, bearing the 
general's body, would pass her country seat on the 
Hudson, and at that hour the constant widow, still mourn- 
ing the loss of "her soldier" after a lapse of more 
than forty years, appeared upon the portico of her 
mansion. The Richmond approached and stopped; the 
military band on board played a Dead March; a salute 
was fired, and the boat bearing the precious burden 
passed on. 




LUTHERAN CHURCH, CORNER WILLIAM AND 
FRANKFORT STREETS 



CHAPTER V 

1819-1820. CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, 1818-1820, 
MAYOR 

1819. POLITICAL parties at this time were divided into 
Republicans (Democrats), Federalists, and Clintonians. 
At the spring election the average Republican majority 
in the city was 2301. 

May 31. The balance in the City Treasury was $1850.34. 
The receipts from all sources for the year preceding were 
$682,829.51, and the total expenses, $671,319.83; equal 
to $5.60 per capita. In 1884 the expenses were $36.65, 
or full 6^ times as much. 

February 23 General Andrew Jackson visited New 
York, and was presented with the freedom of the city. 
At an entertainment given in honor of his presence by 
the Fourteenth Regiment, he responded to a call by giving 
a complimentary toast to De Witt Clinton, which, as he 
was then surrounded by political enemies of Clinton, was 
not only the cause of confusion but elicited comment. 

In this year Harman Street (East Broadway) was ex- 
tended from Chatham Square to Grand Street, Avenue D 
was opened, and the sewer in Canal Street was finished. 

By an official return there were, on April 26, only 
twenty-two licensed butchers in the city, paying a license 
fee of one dollar each. 

May 25. A party left Tompkinsville, S. I., in a post 
stage, at 3 A. M., for Philadelphia, and returned at 8 p. M. 
This was an endeavor to illustrate the great despatch of 
the route. Fare, eight dollars each way. 

A stage to Bloomingdale from the lower part of the 
city was established. 



102 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Jacob Barker and Samuel Hazard applied for a charter 
for the Exchange Bank, with a capital of one million 
dollars. 

An ocean steamship company, with Cadwallader D. 
Golden, John Whettin, and Henry Eckford as trustees, 
was organized, with a capital of three hundred thousand 
dollars, with power to increase to five hundred thousand. 
In March of this year was built the steamer Savannah 
of 380 tons, old measurement, said to have had folding 
water-wheels, which were taken out and laid on deck 
when not in use, presumably when she was under sail 
alone. She sailed to Savannah and thence to Liverpool, 
where she arrived on June 20, the first steam vessel to 
cross the Atlantic Ocean. 

In July Rose Butler, a negro wench who had been 
convicted of arson (inasmuch as she had maliciously 
set fire to some combustible materials under a stairway, 
which was readily discovered and extinguished), was pub- 
licly hanged in Potter's Field, now the site of the Wash- 
ington Parade Ground. A leading daily paper referred 
to her execution in a paragraph of five lines, without 
noticing any of the unnecessary and absurd details that 
are given at the present day in like cases; neither was 
her dying speech recorded, much less transmitted to 
other countries, as in the case of a recent execution in 
England. 

In August a case of yellow fever occurred in the 
vicinity of Old Slip, and, soon after, the disease became 
epidemic, so much so as to render necessary the removal 
of contiguous inhabitants and the closing of the infected 
area by a fence. 

October 22. Thomas Cooper, the celebrated trage- 
dian, appeared here. During the temporary closing of 
the Park Theatre, the Anthony Street Theatre, newly 
fitted and renamed the Pavilion, was reopened. At this 
house William Leggett appeared, in July, for the first time 



CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 103 

on the stage. His success warranted but two or three 
appearances, yet at the Bowery Theatre, in 1826, he 
made another attempt, wherein he failed decisively. 
Leggett was an eminent critic and a close student of the 
drama, and had an eager desire for theatrical fame, but 
he did not possess the qualities required by the stage. 
Alike to a well-known municipal official who appeared 
much later, he was deficient in facial expression. West's 
circus was opened in Broadway between Grand and How- 
ard streets, having a ring and a stage. It was opened 
on the Qth of September with "The Spy." Many years 
after its closing, the building, converted to a horse 
market under the style of Tattersall's, was one of the 
best-known places of the town. 

Jacob Cram, who had opened a distillery in Washington 
Street, removed to the corner of Broadway and Canal 
Street, occupying the entire front on Canal Street to 
Cortlandt Alley. About the same time a company for fur- 
nishing warm baths was established in Chambers Street, 
the first and then the only one in New York. Bath race- 
course on Long Island was opened, and its officers gave 
notice that faro, roulette, "sweat-cloth," and like devices 
for gambling would not be permitted. 

An aeronaut by the name of Guille ascended in a bal- 
loon from Paulus Hook and, in accordance with the 
practice of the day, he detached the wicker basket in 
which he was seated and was arrested in his descent by 
the attached parachute. This was the first balloon ascen- 
sion in America. 

A piratical vessel was seen off Sandy Hook. 

The advent of Easter Day, the notices of the churches, 
florists, etc., lead me to reflect upon the changes in cus- 
toms, observances, etc., from the early period of these 
reminiscences, in addition to those previously noted. 
Thus : Lent and its services were then very indifferently 
observed. The service on Easter Day in some of the 



104 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches differed from the 
usual services only in the introduction of an anthem ; 
flowers were not displayed either in churches or private 
dwellings ; in fact, the contribution of all the florists, 
possibly two in number, would not have been equal to the 
usual display in anyone church at this time. " Easter 
bonnets " and cards were unknown, and colored eggs were 
limited to schoolboys, who, with the aid of the cooks in 
their families, were enabled to produce some. For a few 
weeks during the periods of Easter and Paas, the crack- 
ing of eggs by boys supplanted marbles, kite-flying, and 
base-ball. 

December 21. At the corner of Broadway and Cort- 
landt Street, a personal encounter occurred between 
James Stoughton, the Spanish Vice-consul, and Robert 
M. Goodwin, a brother of Captain Charles G. Ridgeley, 
U. S. N. ; the latter having had his name changed, to be- 
come the recipient of a legacy left upon that considera- 
tion. Goodwin had been captain of a privateer during 
the Spanish war, and Stoughton had had him arrested and 
sent to Ludlow Street jail on the charge of piracy. Meet- 
ing as above, and after personal charges and invectives, 
Stoughton struck Goodwin and a struggle ensued. Good- 
win having a sword cane, the blade of which became 
exposed, he struck Stoughton, who fell and soon after 
expired. Goodwin was tried and in the early part of the 
following year acquitted. In 1836 Captain (then Commo- 
dore) Ridgeley gave me a recital of the affair, and of his 
summary action upon a negro who waited upon him at the 
City Hotel in bed, and offered to give testimony in vindi- 
cation of his brother, if he was paid for it. Public opinion 
was very much divided upon the guilt of Goodwin. 

Joseph Rodman Drake published his " Culprit Fay" in 
this year. 

George W. Browne, who failed as a grocer in the 
Bowery, opened the Auction Hotel at 239 Water Street, 




SHAKESPEARE HOTEL, CORNER OF FULTON AND NASSAU STREETS 



CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 107 

where viands of all kinds were well and cleanly served 
meats, etc., at one shilling per plate, puddings and 
pies sixpence per cut, and liquors sixpence per glass. 
He was the pioneer in this class of eating-houses. In 
the course of years he realized a sum that enabled him 
to pay all his old creditors, principal and interest. At 
the southwest corner of Fulton and Nassau streets there 
was a resort, known as the Shakespeare Hotel, essentially 
a restaurant, kept by a Mr. Thomas Hodgkinson, who 
had previously kept a restaurant at 53 Nassau Street, and 
in 1825 he was succeeded by his son-in-law, James C. 
Stoneall, who was an exceptionally courtly man, an atten- 
tive and obliging landlord, and approved caterer ; so 
much so that his house was unquestionably the most 
popular one of the period. 

A well-known resort for "things of use and things of 
sport " to quote from his ingenious catalogue was 
a store at 305 Broadway, kept by Joseph Bonfanti (in 
1818 at 20 Chatham Street), who was familiar not only to 
all of that day, but much later. He committed suicide 
years afterward. 

John Charraud, an JmigrJ, or, more properly, a refugee, 
from the island of Hayti after the revolution there, 
opened a dancing-school at 47 Murray Street; he subse- 
quently gave his " publics " at the City Hotel, and divided 
the honor of the Terpsichorean art with Berrault, pre- 
viously referred to. Waltzing at this time had not been 
introduced. 

A well-recognized character of the day was a mulatto 
who followed the business of coat-scouring, known as 
" Dandy " Cox. He drove a rather stylish two-wheeled 
business vehicle, and sometimes a Stanhope with a negro 
"tiger " behind; was always very well and even fashion- 
ably dressed, usually in a green jockey-coat with brass 
buttons. His wife, at such evening parties as her lord 
and herself gave to their many acquaintances, was in the 



108 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

habit of retiring several times during the evening and 
reappearing in an entire change of dress. 

This is the first year in which I saw maple sugar. It 
was sold in confectioneries, its look in no wise inviting, 
from the smoke being permitted to enter into or upon 
it in process of boiling the sap; very dark in color and 
not agreeable in taste. It was some years afterward 
before it was improved in manufacture, and many years 
before it was introduced in such a quantity as to be- 
come of general domestic use in cities and an article 
of merchandise. 

The newspapers were delivered by carriers; " Extras" 
were unknown; and an occurrence after the printing of 
a paper which seemed worthy of especial advice was put 
in a slip, as it was termed, and posted on a bulletin; 
others being mailed to editors in neighboring cities. 

There were several gentlemen residing in the lower 
part of the city who were frequently seen walking up 
Broadway, Greenwich Street, or the Bowery shouldering 
a gun, and followed by their dogs, on the way to the 
suburbs for the shooting of woodcock, English snipe, and 
rabbits as the Lispenard Meadows, Tompkins Square, 
Broadway from Forty-sixth Street to the North River; 
Fifth Avenue at Thirty-second Street, and Second and 
Third avenues from Ninetieth Street to One Hundred 
and Third Street; and the low land from Sixteenth Street 
to Twenty-third Street and Sixth to Ninth Avenue. 

The census of the year gave 119,657 inhabitants, in- 
cluding 11,764 aliens and 250 slaves. 

Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton, who held 
a monopoly of steam navigation of the Hudson River, 
enjoined Robert L. Stevens from running his steamboat 
Phoenix upon it, whereupon he transferred her under his 
personal direction to Philadelphia; and this was the first 
coastwise navigation by steam. He gave me a recital of 
the passage and the operation of the vessel. 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 109 

Overcoats termed top-coats were of drab cloth, 
made loose, and gathered in the back with a strap and 
buckle. Over the shoulders were capes, false or full; 
the former were one or two capes with pleats on the outer 
edge, purposed to represent capes; the others were full 
capes, overlapping each other by about an inch in width, 




THE GRACIE HOUSE, HELL GATE 

the whole fastened under the collar of the coat by 
buttons, in order that such a heavy incumbrance might 
be removed at pleasure. 

Abraham Van Nest purchased the Warren House and 
ground, occupying an entire block, bounded by Fourth, 
Charles, Bleecker, and Perry streets, for $15,000. 

1820. The result of a census of the United States 
was announced as 9> 62 5,734; of Boston, 43,893; Balti - 



110 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

more, 62,627; New York, 123,706, and Philadelphia, 133,- 
273 being nearly 10,000 in excess of New York. 

In illustration of the value of improved real estate at 
this time, a house and lot No. 20 Wall Street, between 
William and Broad streets, was taxed $60. 20, one at No. 
9 New Street, $7.36, and one at 8 Park Place, $31.50. 
Ex-Mayor Daniel F. Tiemann's father and uncle leased 
twenty-one lots on Twenty-third Street near Broadway 
at $3.00 per annum. They had previously leased on 
Fifth Avenue, Nineteenth and Twentieth streets, sixty 
lots at $50.00 per year. In 1840 a portion of the lots 
leased by them, 1820, on Fifth Avenue between Eigh- 
teenth and Nineteenth streets, was sold for $27,000, and 
Arnold & Constable in 1868 paid $375,000 for them. 

March 8 the New York American, published and edited 
by Charles King, was established at 10 Broad Street. 
The New York Lead Works began operations in Broad- 
way near Art Street (Astor Place); Broadway at this 
point was unpaved. 

Robert Swartwout, Alderman, proposed to enlarge the 
Park by extending it to Ann, Beekman, and Nassau 
streets, so as to make it as nearly square as practicable. 

State and Charter offices, and the incumbents thereof, 
were held in much higher esteem than they are at the 
present time. This cannot be better shown than by the 
circumstance that for the election of the year in the 
First Ward of the city, such men as Isaac Pearson, 
Peter H. Schenck, and Augustus Wynkoop, were ap- 
pointed inspectors, and Gulian C. Verplanck, Samuel B. 
Romaine, Reuben Munson, Robert R. Hunter and others 
of like stamp were elected to the Assembly. 

In this year Henry Eckford built at his yard in Brook- 
lyn, near the Navy Yard, the first veritable steamer, the 
Robert Fulton, as in centra-distinction to a steamboat, 
that is, she was a full- or square-rigged ship. 

May 25. The Park Theatre was destroyed by fire; the 









CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR m 

origin of it was assigned to the lodging of inflammable 
wadding in one of the flies, from the discharge of fire- 
arms in a piece termed " The Siege of Tripoli," written 
by Mordecai M. Noah, the editor of the Advocate, the 
leading Republican (Democratic) paper of the day. The 
Pavilion, in Anthony Street, was immediately leased and 
opened by the management of the Park. 

The service of the North River Steamboat line to 
Albany was two round trips per week, fare six dollars 
each way. 

Peter Cooper opened a grocery store in the Bowery, 
corner of Stuyvesant Street. About this year he removed 
his house, later known as the Cooper Mansion, located on 
the present site of the Bible House on Eighth Street be- 
tween Third and Fourth avenues, to its present site on 
Fourth Avenue, corner of Twenty-eighth Street. 

Mr. Cooper directed the taking down of the structure, 
and the marking of each essential part, so that it might 
be put up in its proper place in the progress of the recon- 
struction. 

No citizen of New York has made a more enduring 
impression upon the city of his birth than Mr. Cooper. 
He was inherently a philanthropist, and firm in his con- 
victions. In illustration, when his son, Edward Cooper, 
was a candidate for the State Senate, I was waited upon 
by a delegation of Germans to introduce it to the candi- 
date for the purpose of ascertaining his views upon the 
proposed change in the temperance laws. When we 
reached his residence, he being absent, Mr. Cooper 
responded for him, firmly announcing his opposition to 
any extension of the laws whereby the evils of intemper- 
ance might be advanced. He took an active part in the 
conduct of the Public School Society and in the transfer 
to the Board of Education, of which he was one of 'the 
first Commissioners. He was on the committee of the 
Board of Aldermen who introduced the Croton water. 



112 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

His foundation of the Cooper Union will perpetuate 
his memory as the chief benefactor of the city during his 
day and generation. He lived to see all his ideas for the 
public benefit accomplished, and died at the ripe age of 
ninety-two, beloved and regretted by the whole people 
of the city which he loved so well. 

As lotteries, under certain regulations as to the draw- 
ings, which were had upon the esplanade in front of the 
City Hall, in the presence of an alderman, were author- 
ized by law, there were many offices in the city, notably 
one at the southwest corner of Broadway and Park Place 
kept by Aaron Clark, a much reputed citizen, who in 1837 
was elected Mayor. Few things exhibit more clearly the 
development of the public conscience than the change of 
feeling concerning lotteries. Even at a period consider- 
ably later than the date now under consideration, these 
enterprises were in no disfavor, and many persons yet 
engaged in active life can remember when lotteries were 
an occupation of some of the best citizens of this and 
neighboring communities, men of integrity and piety. 
Indeed, not long before our date, grants by legislatures 
of lottery privileges as a means of raising money for 
founding churches were by no means infrequent. Now, 
such is the change of sentiment that the last lottery has 
been expelled from the country; even our easy-going 
fellow-citizens of Louisiana (largely of Latin origin) 
resolving to banish it. The retrospect of a long life 
must lead one, however disposed by the laws of human 
nature to be laudator temporis acti, to the conclusion that, 
at least in some particulars, the world is improved since 
he came into it. 

In illustration of the difference in the consideration 
given to cold drinks in 1819, and at the present time, it 
should be noted that the Humane Society issued a procla- 
mation to the citizens, warning them against the injurious 
use of cold water. "Cold water " at that day, and for 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 113 

many years afterward, was that drawn from a street pump; 
the use of ice for domestic purposes, as before observed, 
was unknown. So injurious was the use of this "cold" 
(pump) water declared to be, that persons indulging in it 
were advised first to wet their foreheads and wrists. In 
some schools and factories the water was tempered with 
molasses, or slightly with elixir of vitriol. 

May 31. The ship of the line Ohio was launched from 
the Navy Yard, Brooklyn, and as she was larger than any 
vessel that had been launched in the United States up to 
that time, the attendance of persons exceeded that at any 
public exhibition that had ever occurred, and the day was. 
made a general holiday. 

In August yellow fever was epidemic in Philadelphia, 
and the Mayor of this city, Cadwallader D. Golden, on 
the i8th issued a proclamation, forbidding the entrance 
into New York of any person who had been in the former 
city within thirty days. This, however, was moderated 
on the 2Qth inst. to ten days, and on the iyth of October 
it was revoked. 

In this month a boat-ferry was established from foot 
of Spring Street to Hoboken, and the mail stage be- 
tween this city and West Farms was robbed in open day. 

Stratford Canning, of England, visited the city. He 
was shown its different institutions, and on the 2oth of 
September the fire department with its entire plant 
assembled in the Park, where a light had been set upon 
a tripod of elevated ladders, and at a signal from Thomas 
Franklin, the chief engineer, streams of water from 
engines were directed upon it. 

The first religious paper appeared ; the New York 
Observer, edited by Sidney E. and Richard C. Morse. 

October 18. The Advocate, edited by Mordecai M. 
Noah, published a notice of a man with a hand-organ, 
accompanied by a woman, as having appeared in the 
public streets, and the question was asked, Who are they > 



114 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

November 20. Edmund Kean, the great English tra- 
gedian, arrived here, and in consequence of the destruc- 
tion of the Park Theatre by fire in the May previous, he 
appeared at the Anthony Street Theatre, a very humble 
structure in that street (Worth), near Broadway. He 
opened in " Richard III." His last appearance in New 
York was in the same character at the Park Theatre in 
December, 1826, he having come to this country for the 
second time late in 1825. 

December 23. The official assize of bread was seventy 
ounces, for 12^4 cents; flour at $4.60 per barrel. The 
weight at the present day (1894) for a like sum, with 
flour computed at a like price, should be forty ounces, 
whereas it is but sixteen ounces, or less than one-half. 

About this period a Mr. Laurent Salles, who had been a 
glove-maker, and who became a merchant at 136 Water 
Street, was afflicted with such an insatiable appetite that 
he dined at two or more places at about the same hour. 
On one occasion Mr. Niblo, who had but lately taken the 
Bank Coffee House, corner of Pine and William streets, 
and had but few boarders, provided for them in the early 
spring of the year a leg of lamb and some green peas 
(peas in those days were not brought here either by rail 
or steamer), and as the table was open to the public, Mr. 
Salles walked in, seated himself, and commenced upon 
the lamb and peas; the other parties uninterruptedly 
looking on in amazement. When he had finished all, he 
arose and asked Mr. Niblo what was the price. "Sev- 
enty-five cents, sir, but I never wish to see you again." 

The Agricultural Society, for the purpose of stimu- 
lating the making of fine butter, gave public notice to 
persons in the habit of bringing their butter, either to the 
Fly or Washington Market, that they would award three 
silver prizes to those presenting the best, to be adjudged 
by a committee of the Society. This continued for sev- 
eral years, and was the occasion of an improvement in the 






CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 115 

article. In connection with this, Thomas F. Devoe, in 
his valuable history of the markets and butchers of the 
city, recites that one morning a wealthy farmer, who was 
generally known as a very close shaver, or, in other 
words, as fond of cheating whenever he had a chance, 
brought his butter done up in pound rolls. This was 
when it was scarce and worth two and ninepence, and had 
a quick sale, which no doubt had induced him to scant 
the weight in each roll. Unexpectedly the weigh-master 
saw his butter opened for sale (which the farmer could 
not quickly cover out of sight), when he prepared his 
test scale to weigh it; while doing so, the farmer slipped 
a guinea out of his vest-pocket, and while the weigh- 
master's back was turned, thrust it into the top roll, as 
he thought, unperceived by any one. The roll was taken 
up, and it weighed full weight, which satisfied the weigher 
without weighing any other. While he was putting up 
his scale, a Quaker gentleman, who had been standing off 
a little distance and had seen the whole transaction, 
came up and enquired the price of his butter. " Three 
shillings," said the farmer. " Put me up that roll in my 
kettle," says the Quaker, pointing to the "guinea roll." 
To which the farmer replied: "I have that roll sold to a 
friend." "No, thee has not," responded the Quaker, 
"thee can give thy friend another roll, if they are all 
good and weigh alike " ; and turned to question the weigh- 
master, who said to the Quaker: " He was entitled to 
the roll, or any roll he chose to take, if they were priced 
to him." With this the Quaker took up the guinea roll 
and placed it in his kettle, then laid down three shillings; 
and as he was going, he coolly told the farmer: "Thee 
will not find cheating always profitable." 

Macomb's dam (see pp. 78-79) was designed, by the 
operation of automatic flood-gates, to arrest the water 
from the East River at full tide (as it flows before that 
of the North), and then, as it receded, the closing of 



Il6 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

these gates would impound the water between the dam 
and Kingsbridge above, at which point like, flood-gates 
and a forebay led the receding water to operate a flour 
mill (see illustration, p. 49); but the removal of the 
dam (1833) rendered the impounding of the water inop- 
erative. 

A recital of the dress of boys, the manner of obtaining 
it, and the absence of their conveniences and comforts at 
this period compared with that of the present day, may 
appear overdrawn, but I write from personal and painful 
experience, and aptly add, quceque ipse miserrima vidi. 

Upon referring to my notes of the dependence of boys 
upon their own resources for instruments of sport I see 
that I have omitted, among many others, that their foot- 
balls were made with a bladder purchased from a butcher 
and covered by a neighboring shoemaker ; and upon 
referring to this and to my preceding record of the cus- 
toms, dress, etc., etc., at this period of time, I am 
reminded of the following lines of Pope : 

" In words and fashions, the same rule will hold, 

Alike fantastic, be they new or old ; 
Be not the first, by whom the new are tried, 
Or yet the last to lay the old aside." 

It is quite probable that the cold bedrooms, the wet 
feet, in the absence of rubber boots and overshoes, may 
have led to the survival of the fittest, and many may have 
fallen by consumption; yet we were not exposed to the 
baneful effects of the sudden change from heated rooms 
to the outer air, as in the present day. 

In default of hall-stoves, which were not introduced 
until the use of anthracite coal became general (1830), 
and of hot-air furnaces, which were not in use until many 
years after (fully as late as 1850), warming-pans to heat 
bed-clothes, and foot-stoves for the feet, were much used 
by elderly persons in the winter season, even to the 



CADWALLADER D. COLDEN, MAYOR Iiy 

taking of the stoves to church. Of these warming-pans 
there is a legend that a well-known and enterprising 
merchant of an Eastern city sent, amongst other goods, 
in a shipment to the West Indies, some of these articles, 
which were received by the planters with surprise and 
amusement. Discovering an use for them, however, 
they bought them, took off the covers, and, as they 
were of brass, used them as dippers of cane-juice and 
molasses. 

He was not alone in shipments to the West Indies, for 
it is historical that Eastern merchants purchased Balti- 
more clippers, a class of vessel (foretopsail schooners) 
designed for speed, to be used for transporting fruit or 
oysters, and especially for slaves and like service involv- 
ing despatch ; but as for general traffic, it was well said 
of them, their capacity being disproportionate to their 
cost of maintenance, " they would make a rich man poor, 
and a poor man a beggar." These same men fitted these 
vessels for the coast of Africa, for the alleged purpose of 
procuring "bone and ivory," but they were sometimes 
captured by British cruisers, and if before they had reached 
the Coast, upon being examined they were found to 
have a slave-deck and an undue quantity of water-casks 
and corn-meal on board, while, if captured after leaving 
the Coast, the "bone and ivory" were in the form of 
negro men and women. The deaths of the slaves from 
their confinement in the foetid air in the hold of the 
vessel were so frequent that the man-eating shark of the 
West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, etc., is said to have followed 
from the Coast in the wake of slave-ships. " Extremes 
meet " is a common and frequently a truthful aphorism, 
as illustrated in this case; for the descendants of these 
men were initiative in the suppression of slavery in this 
country, performing therein an act of expiation of the 
" thriftiness " of their ancestors, and some redemption 
of their social status. 



n8 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



St. Patrick's Church was then surrounded by primitive 
trees, and a fox was killed in the churchyard. 

In this year were founded the Apprentices' Library and 
the Mercantile Library. The latter was organized at 
meetings convened for the purpose in November, and 
began itsservice of the public early in 1821. 

The population of the city at the close of the year was 
123,706. 







MILL ROCK, HELL GATE 



CHAPTER VI 

I82I-I822. CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, 1821; STEPHEN 
ALLEN, l82I-l822, MAYORS 

1821. IN this year John Randall, Jr., completed his 
maps of the avenues and streets of the city as approved 
by the Commissioners in 1809. 

In January a fire destroyed a great number of wooden 
buildings occupying the premises on Fulton, Front, and 
South streets, and Fulton Market was erected thereon, 
to replace the Fly Market at Maiden Lane, which was 
insufficient in area and inconvenient in its location. 
During that month snow was so deep in the streets that 
the chief engineer of the Fire Department issued an 
order permitting the members of two fire-engine compa- 
nies to operate but one, in order that they should be better 
enabled to draw one engine through the streets. The 
cold was intense. On the 2ist of January the North 
River from the Battery up was so wholly frozen over that 
many thousand persons crossed from the foot of Cort- 
landt Street to Paulus Hook (Jersey City). On the 25th 
foot passengers crossed the East River to Brooklyn and 
to Governor's Island; on the 26th a boat was brought up 
from Staten Island on the ice, and persons walked to 
Staten Island from Long Island. Anthracite coal was 
first introduced in furnaces this winter an appropriate 
time. 

February 12 the Mercantile Library of the City of 
New York opened at 49 Liberty Street, being removed, 
in 1826, to Cliff Street. In this year the Black Ball 



32O REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WALL STREET, NEAR BROADWAY 

Line, hence to Liverpool (see p. 45)^ added four 
vessels to its fleet. The ship Sea Fox, hence to Charles- 
ton, was capsized off Sandy Hook, and the crew of a pass- 
ing vessel, several days afterward, visited the wreck as it 
lay bottom up, and becoming aware of the existence of 
persons in the forecastle, they cut a hole in the bottom 
and drew out four seamen. 



CADWALLADER D. COLDEN, MAYOR 121 

Public feeling on the lottery question was made evi- 
dent by an Act of the Legislature providing that new 
lotteries were not to be granted after the engagements 
of those then in existence had been fulfilled. 

The North River Bank was chartered, with the condi- 
tion that it gave Robert, John, and Samuel Swartwout 
assistance to develop their scheme, originating in 1819, to 
convert into arable land the meadows on the east side of 
the Hackensack River, north of Snake Hill, and it com- 
promised with them for the sum of fifty thousand dollars. 
The Swartwouts prosecuted this enterprise with great 
diligence and persistence, employing in it all the capital 
they owned or could borrow. They constructed many 
miles of embankment and ditches, reclaiming about 
fifteen hundred acres, but the enterprise failed, and its 
projectors lost all. Other efforts of similar character 
have since proved to be unfruitful; notably an elaborate 
attempt made by Pike, the Cincinnati distiller, some- 
where in the sixties. 

The large double house, No. 39 Broadway, built in 1786 
by General Alexander Macomb and occupied by Wash- 
ington as President, was occupied in this year by Mr. 
C. Bunker as a hotel and known as the Mansion House. 

The Bloomingdale Asylum, begun in 1818, was opened 
on May 7 in this year. The Deaf and Dumb Asylum, 
incorporated 1817, was located on Madison Avenue and 
Fiftieth Street, the present site of Columbia College 
(1895), first occupied by Columbia in 1857. It was the 
first asylum for mutes in the United States. 

Twelve lots of ground in Greenwich Street, at the 
Albany Basin, foot of Liberty Street, sold for $47,800. 

In consequence of an issue between the Grocers and 
Auctioneers of the city, 234 of the former signed an 
agreement not to purchase any other than damaged or 
perishable goods at auction for a period of six months 
from the ist of January. 



122 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Vauxhall Garden was at this time a place of very general 
resort for residents of the upper portion of the city. It 
occupied a considerable space between the Bowery and 
Broadway, Fourth and Art streets (Astor Place), sur- 
rounded by a board fence, with the main entrance at 
about the middle, on the Bowery (Fourth Avenue) side. 
The fence was lined within with boxes, or rather stalls, 
each containing a narrow table with seats for two per- 
sons at each side, at which tables light refreshments 
were served. The garden contained walks, trees, shrubs, 
flowers, etc., and in the centre was a large building in 
which theatrical performances were given, with inter- 
ludes of songs, dances, etc. The Astor Library now 
occupies part of this site. The beginning of Vauxhall 
was, so early as 1799, under the enterprise of a French- 
man named Delacroix, but I learn it was in 1807 that it 
assumed the condition of garden and theatre according 
to the description here given. At a later date it became 
a favorite place of public meetings, etc., and finally disap- 
peared about 1848 or 1849, soon after the Astor Place riot. 

In May Henry Wallack first appeared in New York, at 
the Anthony Street Theatre (the Park being in ruins). 
He was in high favor with our public for years, as a most 
effective actor in all-round parts. He was at one time 
stage manager of the National Theatre under his brother 
James W. His last appearance was in the autumn of 
1858, as Falstaff. His wife, a person of singular loveli- 
ness, first appeared also in May of this year as a dancer, 
but soon adopted the drama, and remained attached to 
the Park Theatre for some ten years. 

September i. The New Park Theatre was opened ; 
the poetical address on the occasion was written by 
Charles Sprague, the well-known Boston banker and 
man of letters. The new house had room for an audi- 
ence of twenty-four hundred; the stage measured forty- 
five by seventy feet. 



CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 123 

September 25 Peter Richings appeared here for the 
first time on any stage, as Henry Bertram in " Guy Man- 
nering." He proved to be an effective actor. 

Junius Brutus Booth arrived in this country at Nor- 
folk, Va., and made his first appearance at Richmond. 
October 5 he first presented himself in New York, as 
Richard III. He returned to England, but came here 
again early in 1824, and was at the Park, and afterward 
at the Chatham Garden Theatre and at the New York 
(Bowery), where he became a great favorite. In 1843 ne 
played his last engagement at the Park ; his last perform- 
ance in New York, however, was so late as the autumn of 
1851. He died in November, 1852. 

At theatres at this period, and for some years after- 
ward, it was customary for some of the actors to favor 
the audience with a song, and on the occasion of a bene- 
fit to Miss Johnson, who was a favorite with the public, 
eight songs and one duet were given, together with a 
Scotch and Turkish dance. In this season a summer 
garden, with an improvised theatre for the patronage of 
colored persons, was opened, where " Richard III.," 
"Othello," and like pieces were presented by a colored 
company. 

Hoboken at this date, and for many years after, cer- 
tainly as lately as 1840, was of a summer day the favored 
resort of our own citizens seeking fresh air, green fields, 
and shady walks ; and when I reflect upon the character 
of the company that visited the grounds bordering upon 
the river, and the perfect impunity with which young 
ladies could visit them, the conviction is forced upon 
me that, however much we have advanced in science, 
manufactures, learning, and wealth, the character, tone, 
manners, and morals of our general society have mo.st 
signally and regretfully depreciated. 

April 10 the British Consul removed the remains of 
Major Andre from Tappan to England, pursuant to 



124 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

a request made by the British Government and the 
permission which of course was given by the authority 
of this country. 

In May William Niblo, proprietor of the well-known 
public-house at 45 Pine Street (southwest corner of Pine 
and William streets), which he opened in 1814, opened 
what was known as the Mount Vernon residence, about 
Seventieth Street, east of Third Avenue, as a hotel and 
grounds, and termed it " Kensington." It became a 
very popular resort for many years. 

June 24 there was caught at the tail of the dam at 
Fire Place, L. I. (Carman's), by Mr. Samuel Carman, a 
trout or a salmon it was never decided which it was 
that measured three feet in length, seventeen inches 
around, and weighed thirteen pounds eight ounces. 

In consequence of the growing frequency of Sunday 
excursions in steamboats, the clergy of the city entered 
upon a crusade against them. At a meeting by them at 
the City Hall, for the purpose of expressing the sense 
of the community, it was declared there were fully five 
thousand persons present, and upon the clergy essaying 
an organization, they were voted down; General Robert 
Bogardus was elected chairman and William T. McCoun 
(late Vice-chancellor) secretary. The meeting then 
expressed its disapprobation of the interference of the 
clergy. 

The speed of steamboats of the day was very low, 
ranging from six to nine miles per hour. The smaller 
boats, to ports on Long Island Sound, could not always 
stem an adverse tide in Hell Gate, and, as illustrative of 
the tediousness of the passage, I note that the owners of 
a number of steamboats furnished two thousand volumes 
of books for the library of their boats. 

In August of this year Frances (" Fanny ") Wright first 
opened her views on social conditions; and about the 
same time John C. Symmes first published his theory of 



CADWALLADER D. GOLDEN, MAYOR 125 

the existence of a passage at the North Pole leading to 
the centre of the earth. The views of Symmes were 
very severely and also jocosely referred to by all the 
public prints, and the alleged opening was termed 
Symmes's Hole. 

September 3 a very severe gale occurred along the 
entire seacoast, which from its severity and the destruc- 
tion of vessels and property was for many years remem- 
bered and referred to as "the September gale." The 
intensity of it occurred at low water, otherwise the 
destruction in this city would have been much greater. 
In some instances small vessels, as brigantines and 
schooners, were left high and dry on the piers, instead 
of alongside of them. 

On the 8th there were some isolated cases of yellow 
fever. 

The shot-tower of Mr. Youle at the foot of East Fifty- 
fourth Street was constructed in this year. On the gth 
of October, when nearly completed, it fell to the ground, 
but was rebuilt. 

On the i2th Mrs. Holman, who afterward became Mrs. 
Major-general Sandford, first appeared at the theatre. 
October 30 Mr. Cowell, a comedian from England, made 
his first appearance at the Park, and old New-Yorkers will 
thank me for reminding them of the pleasure they have 
enjoyed in witnessing his inimitable performances. 

In November Beekman Street was extended from 
Pearl Street to the river, and the pier at its foot was 
known as Crane wharf, and on the 2oth of this month 
Fulton Market was opened for business. In the same 
month one of the Brooklyn Ferry sail-boats was capsized 
by collision and a passenger drowned. 

In the absence of railroads, and with the few steam- 
boat routes, the travel of the period continued to be 
principally by stage-coaches, and the accidents involving 
life and limb were so frequent that injuries to travellers, 



126 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

when their number at that day is compared with that of 
the present, was far in excess of injuries by railroads and 
steamboats. In November the mail stage hence to 
Philadelphia was overturned near New Brunswick, and 
Mr. James W. Wallack received a comminuted fracture 
of one of his legs. So severe was the condition of it 
that amputation was saved only by his positive resistance 
to the operation. It was necessary, however, to encase 
it in a tin envelope. Valentine Mott, the eminent sur- 
geon of the time, attended him. 

December 31. The iron railing for the Park arrived 
from England, and in order to avoid a duty on the manu- 
facture it was complete only in parts. Four marble 
pillars to the gateways at its southern terminus were 
erected and surmounted with scroll iron work supporting 
lanterns, and also made the depository of coins, etc. 
Samuel L. Mitchell, M. D., delivered an address on the 
occasion. 

At this time, and for many years after, there were but 
few places of evening amusement for young men and 
boys. There were not, as at a later period, horse, dog, and 
flower shows, pugilistic exhibitions, anatomical and dime 
museums, billiard and pool rooms, or " free-and-easies," 
but one theatre, a circus, only three billiard-rooms, and 
but one bowling alley west of the Bowery, while even 
Scudder's Museum would not bear repeated attendances* 
there was such a void of amusements that young men 
and boys were glad to avail themselves even of an evening 
book auction, and, as a result, there were many of these, 
and they were well attended. One in Fulton Street near 
Broadway was continuously in operation throughout the 
year. The absence of public libraries induced circulating 
libraries, of which there were several, where books could 
be obtained by quarterly, half-yearly, and yearly sub- 
scriptions. A leading one of these was the Minerva, on 
Broadway, between Warren and Chambers streets. 




_J 



CADWALLADER I). GOLDEN, MAYOR 1 29 

The Red Star Line, hence to Liverpool on the 2oth of 
each month, was established by Byrnes, Trimble & Co. 

David Dunham, a merchant, had the steamship Robert 
Fulton built, intended to ply hence to New Orleans. 
After some service she was sold to the Brazilian Govern- 
ment, her machinery removed, and then she was fitted 
and equipped as a second-class frigate. 

December. "The Spy," by James Fenimore Cooper, 
appeared in this month. This was Cooper's second 
work, the first being a somewhat conventional and crude 
representation of English society. But in "The Spy" 
Cooper took up new ground, laying his scene in his own 
country and among the events of the Revolution. This 
resulted in the beginning of his great popular success 
(not yet wholly abated), and really in the beginning also 
of fictitious literature in America. Properly to under- 
stand the exceeding interest which "The Spy" excited 
at the time of its production, modern readers must re- 
member that the close of the Revolutionary War was 
then little further removed than is now the beginning of 
the late War of the Rebellion. Much speculation was 
indulged concerning the original of the character of 
Harvey Birch, the patriotic spy. Captain H. L. Barnum 
wrote a volume entitled, " The Spy Unmasked " (J. & J. 
Harper, 1828; reprinted by the Fishkill Weekly Times, 
1886), dedicated to Cooper, in which Birch was identified 
with Enoch Crosby, a resident of the present Putnam 
County, on the border of Westchester the "neutral 
ground " of the Revolution. In consequence of this, 
Crosby was warmly received on his appearance in some 
public places in New York, and acknowledged these 
attentions in a letter published in the Journal of Com- 
merce of December 27, 1827. Crosby died June 26, 1835, 
in his eighty-sixth year. It must be added that Cooper, 
in the preface to an edition of " The Spy " published in 
1849, referred to "several accounts of different persons 



130 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

who are supposed to have been in the author's mind" as 
the original of Harvey Birch, and declared that he never 
knew the identity of the person by him reproduced under 
that character, although some of the chief incidents con- 
nected with the character in the tale were undoubtedly 
historic. 

So well was " The Spy " received that it was soon fol- 
lowed by others; notably, "The Pioneer" and others 
of the "Leather. Stocking" series. When the "Red 
Rover " appeared, I succeeded, on a Saturday evening, in 
obtaining a copy at the circulating library I patronized, 
and when the church bells on the following morning rang 
for nine o'clock, as they did at that time, I had just 
finished the last volume. 

1822. Franklin Market, at the foot of William Street 
(Old Slip), was erected and opened. 

Hogs were permitted still to run at large in the streets, 
although the practice was objected to by most of the 
citizens, and the frequent mortifying references thereto 
of Boston and Philadelphia editors added to the opposi- 
tion ; yet the common opinion that the hogs were the best 
scavengers supported, for many years after, the indiffer- 
ence to the practice shown by the Common Council. In 
support of this inaction it is to be considered that at 
this period all garbage and refuse matter from dwellings 
was thrown into the street. Some years after (1825), an 
ordinance of the Common Council authorized the furnish- 
ing and equipment of a cart and operators to arrest swine 
in the streets. The advent of the cart and the endeavor 
to arrest the swine were attended with such forcible oppo- 
sition by men and boys that the ordinance necessarily 
became a dead letter, until the amour propre of our citi- 
zens, despite the unpopularity of the cart, was aroused, 
the enormity of the practice was realized, and swine were 
removed from the streets. 






STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 131 

Piracy in the West Indies still continued, and our Navy 
was taxed to fit and equip a sufficient number of small 
cruisers to suppress it. In this service the late Commo- 
dore Lawrence Kearney, then a lieutenant, distinguished 
himself, having captured 17 piratical vessels and 220 men. 

In February the merchants of the city convened for 
the purpose of asking for a floating light off Sandy Hook, 




BROADWAY, CORNER OF GRAND STREET, 1822 

also for the formation of an association to construct a 
Merchants' Exchange. 

In March a line of sailing vessels was established hence 
to Charleston. 

April 22 the packet ship Albion, hence to Liverpool, 
was lost off Tuskar Island, with her captain, Williams, 
and forty-four others, being the greater part of her pas- 
seno-ers and crew. As this was the first disaster of the 



132 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

kind, and as the population of the city was small, the 
occurrence was a leading topic of conversation among 
all classes, and a subject of natural reference for some 
years afterward. I add here that the packet ship Liver- 
pool, Captain William Lee, Jr., hence to Liverpool, was 
lost in the ice on July 25 of this year, on her first voy- 
age. The loss of life occasioned by the stranding of the 
Albion led many persons to design life-preservers, the 
first that was submitted to the public being an adaptation 
of an ordinary mattress, patented by a vender of beds and 
bedding, a Mr. Jackson in Pearl Street, who was long 
and well known as " Moccasin" Jackson, an eccentric 
character. He it was who first took a trotting horse 
to England from this part of the country. Mr. Stack- 
pole of Boston had taken his horse, " Boston Blue," as 
early as 1818. 

A drama based on Cooper's novel of " The Spy" was 
produced this year at the Park, from the pen of an inti- 
mate acquaintance and a well-known citizen, Mr. Charles 
P. Clinch. It was an excellent production and met with 
deserved acceptance from the public. 

May 10 James Wallack appeared at the Park Thea- 
tre as Captain Bertram in " Fraternal Discord," a part 
that did not involve his standing, since he had not yet 
recovered from the effects of the fracture of his leg. Mr. 
Richings had then become a favorite stock actor at the 
Park Theatre, and he continued as such for many years 
afterward. Old New York will recur to him with pleas- 
ure. In June was opened the Chatham Garden, on 
Chatham Street, between Duane and Pearl, running 
through to Augustus Street (City Hall Place). It 
became very popular. At first it contained a saloon 
designed only for concerts and light dramatic works, but 
this was converted into a regular theatre in May ensuing. 
In July the City Theatre, Warren Street, near Broadway, 
was opened, under the auspices of Mrs. Battersby, a 






STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 



133 



sister of Mrs. Barnes. This house was closed at the end 
of August on account of the existence of yellow fever, 
but was reopened in November. 

Tammany Hall, then at the corner of Park Row and 
Frankfort Street (see p. 33), was advertised by its propri- 
etor as a very salutary location, being on high and open 
ground, and airy. The country house and grounds here- 
tofore mentioned as Richmond Hill now became known 
as the Richmond Hill Garden, a place of public resort. 

The State of Connecticut enacted a law regarding 
steamboats of a foreign state, the details of which I do 
not know, which prevented the Connecticut from trading 
hence to New Haven, and as a consequence she was put 
on the route hence to Newport and Providence ; the 
time of travel, from New York to Boston, twenty-five 
hours. So enterprising and so hazardous an undertaking 
was this considered that a log of the boat's passages was 
published in full in the papers of the day. A line of 
packets hence to Havre was established in the summer, 
one to sail every two months, agents, Fox & Livingston, 
and also Crassous & Boyd. 

In May the steamboat Hoboken was put upon the ferry 
to Hoboken, when the newspapers heralded her as a very 
fast boat, announcing that she would make the round 
trip every two hours. 

In the early part of this year, at 86 Maiden Lane, Clark 
& Browne opened an eating-house, which for many years, 
alike to its predecessor, the Auction Hotel, was well 
known for the excellence of its cuisine and the moderate 
price of the viands. At that time the Spanish eighth of 
a dollar (12% cents) was in circulation and was the price 
of a plate of meat. On one occasion a diner offered 
Mr. Clark a dime and two cents, which he refused, with 
the remark that the half cent kept his horse. 

The wooden picket fence around the City Hall Park 
having been replaced with one of iron imported from 



134 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

England, our iron manufactures not being then suf- 
ficiently advanced to compete with that country, trees 
were set out within the enclosure, and two well-meaning 
and liberal ladies provided rose-bushes, which were 
planted within the railing, and resisted frosts, the 
ruthless hand of time, and the wantonness of boys for 
more than a year. Boys were better behaved then than 
now. 

A tread-mill was constructed and operated in the peni- 
tentiary by order of the Common Council. It was six 
feet in diameter and twenty-five feet in length; and by 
a connection with one end of the shaft, its power was 
utilized to grind corn. The custom of burying in Trinity 
churchyard was discontinued. St. Thomas's Church was 
built at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street (see 
p. 198). It was in this year that Congress ceded Castle 
Clinton (Castle Garden) to the city. 

The great Northern mail was despatched and received 
but tri-weekly. The cost of transporting merchandise 
hence to Pittsburgh was $9.50 per hundred-weight, the 
transit being wholly by teams. 

The new Constitution of the State was adopted in 
February of this year, whereby there were several impor- 
tant changes. Slavery was abolished after July 4, 1827, 
though minors were not to be freed until 1830; the right 
of voting was given to negroes owning real estate to the 
value of $250. Imprisonment for debt was abolished 
also, to take effect in May, 1832; military officers were 
to be elected instead of appointed by the Governor; and 
changes in the election laws were effected. The Sheriff, 
Register, Coroner, etc., were this year for the first time 
elected, under the provisions of the new Constitution. 
The election of military officers by their subordinates 
was a very popular provision and helped toward a great 
revival of the military spirit. It was not until 1843 tnat 
State arms were issued to the National Guard. 



STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 135 

June 22. The Albion was established, a colonial and 
foreign weekly, published and edited by Dr. J. S. Bart- 
lett at 37 William Street. 

The month of August remains memorable for an out- 
break of yellow fever and the extraordinary panic caused 
thereby, which depopulated the city. For more than 
a century the disease had been from time to time epi- 
demic in New York (as might have been expected of 
a town wherein droves of swine fed upon garbage in the 
streets), notably in 1795, I 79&> an d frequently through 
the earlier years of this century, so that the inhabitants 
had acquired a habit of summer flitting to Greenwich 
Village and other like places then considered rural, dis- 
tant, and safe from contagion, though now and long 
since involved in the city proper. The outbreak of 
this year, however, was of unusual proportions, and 
created unwonted terror among the citizens. Enough 
has been already written to preserve in memory the 
scenes and incidents of that disturbed and even awful 
time, and I shall not indulge in great freedom of reminis- 
cence, though I cannot leave the subject unmentioned. 

June 17. A case of yellow fever appeared in Lumber, 
near Rector Street, and the disease spread so rapidly that 
by the 26th the occupants of quarters below Wall Street 
were in headlong flight to Greenwich and other country 
districts. The public offices, the banks, insurance offices, 
and newspapers all shifted to what was then the upper 
part of Broadway or to Greenwich, which place became 
the scene of hurried building operations on a large 
scale. Mr. Devoe, in his admirable book before men- 
tioned, quotes the Rev. Mr. Marcellus as telling him 
that "he saw corn growing on the present corner of 
Hammond (West Eleventh) and Fourth streets on a 
Saturday morning, and on the following Monday Niblo and 
Sykes had a house erected capable of accommodating three 
hundred boarders." Stores of rough boards were con- 



136 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

structed in a day. What then was known as New York 
was almost wholly deserted, being fenced off at Wall, then 
at Liberty, and then at Fulton Street. The ferries from 
Brooklyn, Jersey City,and Hoboken transferred their land- 
ings to Greenwich. Three hundred and eighty-eight per- 
sons died from the infection, from which the city was not 
free until the last of October. Such, in pre-scientific days, 
were some of the effects of a strictly preventible disease. 

The Park Theatre Company opened its autumn season 
at the Broadway Circus, near Grand Street, as being at 
a safe distance from the yellow fever in the city, and 
remained there until early in November, when the epi- 
demic had ceased. November 7 Charles Mathews the 
comedian first appeared here, at the Park, with great 
success. His second engagement on his return in 1833 
was less fortunate. He appeared for the last time in 
New York at the Park, in February, 1835. 

On November 21 a match was made between the owner 
of the celebrated race-horse, " American Eclipse," owned 
by Mr. Van Ranst of this city, and "Sir Charles," owned 
by Colonel Johnson of the South, for twenty thousand 
dollars, to be run at Washington, D. C., on the appointed 
day. Colonel Johnson paid forfeit. So great was the 
interest in this race that it was arranged that by a series of 
express riders the result was to be borne to Paulus Hook, 
and, upon its reaching there, a white flag was to be dis- 
played in the event of the Northern horse being victori- 
ous. In a race between them a few days afterward, "Sir 
Charles " was beaten. 

" Paisley Place," between Sixth and Seventh avenues 
and Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets, consisted of 
a number of wooden houses, which were principally 
occupied by Scotch weavers, who operated hand-weaving. 
This row, which was erected during the yellow fever 
excitement, still remains, a visible relic of the agitated 
period of the summer of 1822. 






STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 137 

In this year a well-known elderly gentleman, a resident 
of Broadway, jilted the sister of a man who was absent at 
the time, but who, upon his return, awaited the offender 
in Broadway, corner of Duane Street, and a little after 
high noon, when the street was well filled with pedes- 
trians, gave him a very severe cowhiding. 

The authorship of the Waverley novels was at this time 
frequently discussed; the general opinion, however, was 
in favor of Sir Walter Scott. I may remind my readers 
that it was not until the Theatrical Fund dinner of 
February 23, 1827, at Edinburgh, that Sir Walter, in 
reply to Lord Meadowbank's toast, openly avowed his 
authorship of these works, and up to that time the sub- 
ject was surrounded with such mystery as very naturally 
to pique public curiosity. 

The silt dredged from the slips was warped out in 
scows to an anchor in the river opposite to point of 
operation and there dumped in a manner for which some 
one has since claimed an invention. 

The depth of the channels was held to be sufficient to 
admit of shallowing, it not being entertained that the 
volume of the sweepings of the streets, and that from the 
excavation of cellars, opening of streets, etc., would ever 
reach an excess of that required to fill our river fronts out 
to the bulkhead line, unmindful of the fact that the wash 
of the light material was borne away to be deposited on 
the shoals of our bays, and thus, by reducing the area and 
depth of water, reducing the tidal flow over the bar at 
Sandy Hook. 




i 



OLD STOREHOUSE AT TURTLE BAY 



CHAPTER VII 

1823-1824. STEPHEN ALLEN, 1823, AND WILLIAM PAULD- 
ING, 1823-1824, MAYORS 

1823. UNDER the new constitution the Mayor was 
appointed by the Common Council, and Stephen Allen 
was thus appointed. 

Centre Market was opened in this year. The lower 
part of Fly Market, at foot of Maiden Lane, was taken 
down, from Pearl to South Street. In July, the widen- 
ing of Maiden Lane was ordered. The Merchants' 
Exchange was incorporated by the Legislature. The 
area of the Battery was much enlarged by filling out to a 
rip-rap enceinte, which was surmounted by a coursed stone 
wall and a balustrade. The Potter's Field (Washington 
Parade, now Washington Square) was levelled; the use 
of it as a place of interment being abandoned in favor of 
a new plot of ground bought for the purpose, bounded by 
Fortieth and Forty-second Streets, Fifth and Sixth ave- 
nues now occupied by the Reservoir and Bryant Park. 
This plot, containing 128 building lots, was purchased 
for $8449. In the matter of public grounds, the necessi- 
ties of the poor have greatly ministered to the advantage 
of their more fortunate brethren; Washington Square, 
Union Square, Madison Square, and Bryant Park, all 
owing their existence as pleasure-grounds to prior use as 
pauper burial-places. About this time an ordinance was 
enacted prohibiting the interment'of human bodies below 
Grand Street, under a penalty of $250. 

The New York Gas Light Co. was incorporated, 
Samuel Leggett, President, this being the first introduc- 
tion of illuminating gas in the country. The company 



STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 139 

was given the exclusive privilege for thirty years of lay- 
ing gas-pipes south of Grand Street. The first intro- 
duction of the gas in a house was in that of the President 
at 7 Cherry Street. I went to witness it. 

A line of packets hence to London, sailing on the ist 
of every month, was organized by John Griswold and 
Fish and Grinnell ; followed by a line to Liverpool, sail- 
ing on the i6th of every month. Passengers between 
this port and Europe were so scarce that the packet ships 
were fitted only for a few, and on one occasion, within 
my knowledge, a lady desiring to meet her husband in 
England, applying for passage in one of the old or 
Black Ball line of Liverpool packets, was refused, as, 
she being the only woman, her presence would be incon- 
venient to the male passengers. Persons who venture 
now to encounter the gales and seas of the Northern 
Atlantic in steamers of ten or fifteen thousand tons' bur- 
then, will probably be surprised to learn that the tonnage 
of the Liverpool and Havre packets did not reach four 
hundred. The Edward Quesnel was but 325, and the 
Queen Mab and Don Quixote were much less; I am of the 
conviction the tonnage was in both cases under 250. 

In this year a stage ran from the Bull's Head, in the 
Bowery, to Manhattanville. 

Samuel Woodworth founded the Weekly Mirror in 1822, 
and in this year joined eorge P. Morris and published 
the New York Mirror and Ladies' Literary Gazette at 163 
William Street, removed in 1825 to No. 9 Nassau Street. 
Subsequently Woodworth retired, and Nathaniel P. 
Willis succeeded him. 

F. Marquand, at No. 166 Broadway, opened the leading 
jewelry store in the city. There were reported in this 
year in the entire city, eighty-three churches, chapels, 
etc.; at this time (1894) the number given in the "City 
Directory is 522. This is not a favorable proportion of 
increase, the churches having increased little more than 



140 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

six-fold, for a population fifteen times as great. No 
doubt, however, the modern churches may be somewhat 
larger than those of that period. Christ Church (Epis- 
copal), in Anthony Street near Broadway, was completed 
and consecrated in this year. 

March 28 occurred a great gale, from the severity of 
which fifty-four vessels were stranded on the shores of 
Staten Island between the Kills and South Amboy. On 
the 3oth, David Dunham, a prominent merchant and resi- 
dent of this city, in company with Alderman Philip 
Brasher, was knocked overboard by the jibing of the 
boom of a sloop in which they were passengers on their 
way from Albany; the latter was rescued, but the former 
was drowned. 

April 28, the steamboat James Kent of the. North River 
Steamboat Co., destined for the route to Albany, was 
launched, and it was confidently announced that she 
would make the passage hence to Albany between sunrise 
and sunset. 

A company was organized to recover the treasure sunk 
in the Hussar frigate above Hell Gate, and so confident 
were its officers that I have seen, at the home of one of 
the company, a number of the small cotton-cloth bags 
that were made to put the treasure in. 

In consequence of the question of deciding upon some 
method by which the city couJd be furnished with an 
ample supply of pure water, the Manhattan Co. was 
called upon to report its capacity, which was officially 
notified as amounting to 691,200 gallons of water per day, 
involving a period of sixteen hours' pumping. The 
pumping power was given as that of two engines of eigh- 
teen horses each. The capacity of the reservoir was 
132,690 gallons, connected with twenty-five miles of log 
pipes. 

May 27, the great challenge horse-race, made the 
year preceding, between Mr. Van Ranst's famous horse 






STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 143 

"American Eclipse" and one to be named at the post by 
Colonel Johnson, occurred on the Union Course, Long 
Island. It was at four-mile heats, for twenty thousand dol- 
lars a side. Colonel Johnson named " Sir Henry," and 
he won the first heat, " hard held," at the termination of 
which the betting was three to one on "Sir Henry" for 
the second heat, and the well-known and eccentric John 
Randolph of Roanoke, Va., who was present and who 
had backed the Southern horse for a very considerable 
sum, tauntingly and repeatedly, in his peculiar voice, quer- 
ied, "Where's Purdy?" Purdy had ridden "Eclipse" 
on nearly all, if not all, of his previous races, but did not 
ride him now. This was the first time "Eclipse" had 
ever lost a heat, and his backers expressed much dissatis- 
faction that Purdy had not ridden. The result of Ran- 
dolph's taunts and the advice of the friends of Mr. Van 
Ranst and the party associated with him, resulted in 
Purdy's mounting for the second heat, and, to the delight 
of the North and the dismay of the South, he won it. 
Colonel Johnson was confined by illness in a house adjoip- 
ing the course ; he was appealed to, but his directions, 
and putting up the great trainer, Arthur Taylor, in place 
qf the boy who rode the first two heats, were of no avail, 
the staying power of " Eclipse " was too much for his 
three-year-old competitor, and he won also the third heat 
and race. Time: first heat, 7 m. 37 s. ; second heat, 7 m. 
49 s. ; third heat, 8 m. 24 s. ; twelve miles from the score 
in 23 m. 50 s. 

The interest in this race had been extending and 
accumulating for many months, heightened by the pres- 
tige of Colonel Johnson, who was called " the Napoleon of 
the Turf," and, notwithstanding that travel to the course, 
in default of railroads, was restricted to vehicles, horse- 
back, and foot, and as the population of that day, com- 
pared with that of the present, was but one-fifteenth, the 
attendance was nearly if not fully equal to that at any of 



144 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the great racing events of the past year. It was esti- 
mated at fifty thousand. The city was filled with visitors 
from all parts of the Union, so that the hotels were un- 
able to accommodate them. 

Horse-racing at this period was conducted very differ- 
ently, both on the track and outside of it, from that 
which was introduced upon the advent of the Jerome 
Park Association. There was but one race a day (a meet- 
ing being restricted to four days), at one, two, three, 
and four mile heats. The horses that were to con- 
tend were not run around the course just previous to 
starting, or "warmed up," as it is termed, and brought 
up to the post immediately after, but were simply walked 
or cantered for a short distance, not a quarter of a mile, 
and when at the post and in line were started by the tap 
of a drum in the hands of the president or a judge; 
starting was immediate, false starting seldom occurring. 
There were no mutuel or auction pools, or professional 
bookmakers. All bets were made between individuals, 
the money placed in the hands of a common friend or 
acquaintance. 

I fix here a few particulars of the wondrous "Eclipse," 
a chestnut with a star, and white near hind foot; bred by 
General Nathaniel Coles, and foaled at Dosoris, Queens. 
County, L. I., May 25, 1814; sold to Mr. Van Ranst in 
1819. In 1820 and 1821 "Eclipse" stood as a common 
stallion, at $12.50 the season. When put in training in 
the fall of 1821 there was much question of the policy 
of running him, from the opinion long entertained by 
sportsmen that service as a stallion unfits a horse for 
racing; but the event proved that, at least so far as 
"Eclipse" was concerned, the opinion was unfounded. 
The match with " Sir Henry " closed his racing career, as > 
in spite of further challenge from Colonel Johnson, he was 
withdrawn from the turf and put to service. "Eclipse'* 
had " Duroc " for sire and for dam a " Messenger" mare. 



STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 145 

In his veins was the blood of the celebrated English 
" Eclipse" and the Godolphin Arabian. Some years- 
after this race (1833) Colonel Johnson became half owner 
of "Eclipse," and employed him for improvement of 
Southern racing stock. 

June 14. A fire broke out in Noah Brown's ship-yard 
on the East River, afterward Brown & Bell's, by which 
several frames of ships on their stocks, and fire-engine 
No. 44, were destroyed. This fire, from its extent, was 
long remembered as " the ship-yard fire." I was present 
at it. 

In this year, following the example of the boys of the 
period, I became a warm partisan of a fire-engine, and, 
following the very natural custom, it was the engine that 
was located the nearest to my residence. What the Fire 
Department, with 47 engines and 1200 men was then, 
and for many years afterward, even down to 1835, it wl ^ 
be difficult for me to convince those who knew it only 
from that period until it was reorganized in 1865 as the 
paid department of the present day. In illustration of 
the estimate in which its personnel was held by our 
citizens, it was their general custom, when a fire occurred 
at night, for such as dwelt contiguous thereto to invite 
the members of the company on duty near to their resi- 
dence to enter it and partake of hot coffee and other 
refreshments ; and no one instance can I now call to 
mind in which the confidence of the host was abused. 
In fact, I have witnessed more decorum shown on such 
an occasion than frequently is manifested in social enter- 
tainments. In illustration of this I give the following 
notice which appeared in a daily paper, after a fire in 
Broome Street: "The unexceptional deportment of 
these worthy recipients [firemen who had been invited 
to her home to partake of some refreshments] was an 
ample compensation to her who patiently waited upon 
them." The department, during the period above noted, 



146 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

.was as a body composed of well-known solid citizens, 
notably a great proportion of Quakers, and but that 
I decline to introduce the names of private persons, 
I could give a list of those of old firemen that would 
do honor to any institution, commercial, financial, or 
eleemosynary. 

In illustration of the wide difference of the customs 
and means of the men and machines of this day, and that 
of the present, the engine and ladder-truck houses were 
locked, and, in some instances, the key was given to the 
custody of a neighbor; in others, each member had 
a key. In consequence of the infrequency of fires it was 
customary, up to about the year 1830, for the compa- ies 
to assemble once a month for the purpose of exercising 
the engines, to prevent the valves becoming too dry and 
rigid from disuse for effective operation. This meeting 
was termed the "washing," and delinquents in attend- 
ance were fined twenty-five cents. Upon arrival at the 
engine-house on an alarm of fire, if in the night, a light 
was first to be obtained by the aid of a tinder-box, the 
signal lantern and torches lighted, and then the engine 
or truck was drawn by the members and such private 
citizens as volunteered to aid them ; and, as the city was 
not districted, it was taken to the fire, however distant. 

As wood was the general fuel, varied only by use of 
bituminous coal in some parlor grates, chimney fires were 
very frequent, the fine for which to a householder was 
five dollars; and as the amount collected was given to 
a fund for the relief of the widows and orphans of de- 
ceased firemen, the Fire Department had registers placed 
at several locations in the city where the occasion of 
a fire could be noted, and there was an official collector 
of the fines. 

August 6. A bull-bait occurred at Paulus Hook (Jer- 
sey City), the animal being baited by bull-dogs. It was 
the first exhibition of the kind, and a very tame affair 






STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 147 

compared with one where bandilleros and picadores attack, 
and an espado displays his courage and skill in subduing 
the animal, and a matador, if he is not dead, gives the coup 
de grace to the dying animal. 

On the i5th of this month the first floating light 
was towed to its station off Sandy Hook. September 
i Thomas Hilson, a comedian from London, made 
his first appearance at the theatre to which he became 
afterward attached, and for many years was a popular 
member of its corps. About the same date occurred the 
first appearance on this stage of Henry Placide, who 
became one of the very first of public favorites and 
remains, in reputation, among the foremost of native 
comedians. At this time also first appeared in New York 
the admirable actress Mrs. Duff, sister of the first wife 
of Thomas Moore, the poet. She became eminent in her 
profession and was called " the queen of tragedy." She 
married a lawyer of New Orleans and retired from the 
stage. The theatre was riot yet so well attended as 
theatres are now, although the price of admission was 
much less and ticket speculators were unknown. Hence, 
it became necessary for the manager to essay an awaken- 
ing of the public by expedients, and in February of this 
year it was announced that a curtain of looking-glass 
was being constructed which was to replace the one of 
canvas ; and soon after, a curtain of veritable looking- 
glass plates was constructed and fitted in place. Prices 
of admission, boxes, one dollar; pit (parquet), fifty cents, 
and gallery twenty-five cents. 

In the winter of this year a party of gentlemen was 
invited one evening to the house of a well-known and 
public-spirited citizen, to witness the burning of anthra- 
cite coal in a parlor grate, and wonderful were the recitals 
of its success on the following day. It was said that not 
only it burned without making a flame, but created a 
mass of red-hot coals so hot that when a sheet-iron cap 



148 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

(blower) was put before the grate there was a great roar, 
the draft was so strong. 

Tomatoes were about this time first essayed as edibles,, 
for they had been grown in gardens only for the beauty of 
their fruit, termed "Love apples," or tomatoe figs, univer- 
sally held to be poisonous. It was not until 1826 that I 
overcame the fear of being poisoned should I have the 
temerity to eat of them; and for a long period after 
they were only served stewed, and not canned until very 
many years after. 

White handkerchiefs were worn by men only on special 
occasions, as when in full dress ; at other times red silk 
was the prevailing material. It was not until this year 
that false collars to shirts were worn, and only by a few. 

There were some other articles of men's wear that are 
worthy of record. Thus : instead of the single neck- 
cloths, stiffeners, termed "puddings," were introduced; 
and soon after an article termed a "stock," composed of 
stiff, woven horsehair, fully three inches in width, buckled 
behind; and leather straps from the legs of pantaloons, 
buttoned at the sides, were worn under the boots. 

James Murray, from Boston, on his way South put up 
at a sailors' boarding-house of a man named Johnson, 
who, ascertaining that the former had a bag containing 
several hundred dollars in specie, murdered him in his 
bed, and two days after dragged the body to Cuyler's 
Alley, leading from Water Street to the river between 
Coenties and Old slips, and left it there. He was soon 
after arrested, and on December 4 was indicted. 

A second line to Havre was established, with Boyd & 
Hincken agents. 

Grinnell, Minturn & Co. commenced a line to London 
with vessels of four hundred tons, leaving on the ist of 
each month. 

Classical schools at this time were Joseph Nelson's, 
Franklin Street, on the east side, near Broadway, one 



STEPHEN ALLEN, MAYOR 



149 




ST. GEORGE'S CHURCH, BEEKMAN, NEAR CLIFF STREET 

half of the building now (1895) standing; John Borland's 
in Broadway, corner of Dey Street; in 1822, Borland and 
Forrest, at 45 Warren Street, and John C. Slack, in 
Water Street; in 1823 at 223 Duane Street. 

The school term, both in the country and city, was 
four quarters of twelve weeks each, with holidays in the 
former of two weeks each in spring and autumn, to enable 
boys to go home and procure changes of clothes suitable 
to the season. In the city, in lieu of the spring and fall 



150 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

vacations, the entire month of August was given, and in 
both cases the Fourth of July, Evacuation Day (Novem- 
ber 25), and Christmas to New Year's Day were the only 
additional vacations. 

In November was given for the first time, at the Park 
Theatre, John Howard Payne's "Home, Sweet Home." 
Payne had appeared on the New York stage in Feb- 
ruary, 1809, when he was but sixteen years old, and a 
pupil of the venerable Dr. Nott's academy at Schenectady. 

In this, or the following year, " Der Freischtitz," in 
English, was given at the Park Theatre; the first opera, 
strictly so termed, that we had, as distinguished from 
English ballad operas. Up to this time our public knew 
only the English models. 

Considerable increase of musical interest began to dis- 
play itself, and in this year both the New York Choral 
Society and the New York Sacred Musical Society were 
formed. The first concerts of these societies were given 
in the following spring. 

On an irregular plot, formed by Chambers, Collect, 
and Tryon Row, were located fire-engines 8 and 25, and 
a hook-and-ladder company. On Broadway, opposite 
Warren Street, there was located an engine and also a 
hose-cart No. i. 

1824. January 8, the anniversary of the battle of 
New Orleans, there was a great military ball given at the 
Park Theatre, which was long known and referred to as 
the " Greek Ball," it being given in aid of the Greek 
fund. The design was that it should be as exclusive an 
affair as was practicable. It occurred, however, that a 
Mr. Oliver, a well-known barber, who plied his avocation 
at 27 Nassau Street (before referred to), became the 
happy possessor of a ticket how it was not known, as the 
member of the Committee from whom it was procured 
did not acknowledge the delivery ; and when the fact 
was made public, Oliver was offered various sums in 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 151 

excess of the cost of the ticket, but he resolutely refused 
to part with it. The papers of the city referred to the 
matter, public curiosity became interested, and on the 
evening of the ball, every man who was set down from a 
carriage in front of the Theatre, and was not recognized 
by some one or more present, was hailed as "That's him ! " 
"There he goes!" etc. Mr. Oliver in the meanwhile 
quietly and unobservedly walked in from the rear of the 
Theatre. 

It was proposed by some enterprising citizens to re- 
move the Bridewell and Jail to the North River and to 
construct two-story houses in the park fronting Chatham 
Street, as a source of revenue to the city. A petition 
was circulated asking that the "Jail liberties " should 
be extended over the whole county; they were then re- 
stricted to an area of 160 acres. 

The use of anthracite coal was beginning to be gener- 
ally introduced. Up to this period heavy merchandise 
had been bought and sold by the ton, hundredweight, 
quarter, and pound; but in this year the Chamber of Com- 
merce and merchants decided to sell by the pound; the 
old and lumbering double platform scales were abandoned, 
and the single platform or lever scales introduced. 

The New York Dry Dock Co. was organized about this 
time, and constructed two marine railways between 
Tenth and Eleventh streets, Avenue D, and the river. 
These were the first and only constructions in this city, 
if not in the United States, by which a vessel could be 
raised from the water, for up to this time, in order to 
calk the bottom of a vessel or to copper it, it was neces- 
sary to *' heave her down"; that is, to secure the top of 
her lower masts to the pier at low water, then heave them 
down by a crab and falls, and when the tide rose one side 
of her bottom would be raised out of the water. 

The raising of the supposed treasure in the British 
frigate Hussar, before referred to, was held to be an 



J52 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

enterprise so promising of success that a second com- 
pany was organized for the purpose; but as neither com- 
pany would allow the divers of the other to descend 
without being accompanied by one of their own, their 
operations were held in abeyance. 

New York Chemical Works, with banking privileges, 
was chartered through the labors of John C. Morrison, a 
druggist at 183 Greenwich Street, under cover of being 
a factory for drugs and chemicals. It was located on a 
point of land at foot of Thirty-second Street, and Fitz- 
roy Road, Hudson River; which point for many years 
after was one of the landmarks of the river, and known as 
"the Chemical Works," in like manner to "the Glass 
House Point " near to it, where there was a glass factory. 

It was from this that the Chemical Bank was organized, 
and commenced operations in Broadway near to corner of 
Ann Street, afterward the site of the Herald Building. 

It was in this year that a passenger from Liverpool, 
landing at Fire Island, and staging to the city, in con- 
sequence of a great rise in the price of cotton from fifteen 
to thirty cents per pound, conveyed the news to cer- 
tain parties, who bought it here, and despatched pilot- 
boats and expresses to the Southern parts to buy more. 
Reaction came, however, and the ruin of several firms 
was the result. 

Johnson, who had been indicted for murder on the 4th 
of December preceding, was found guilty on the iyth of 
March, and as there were not any members of the legal 
profession in those days known as Tombs lawyers, vulgo 
Shysters, the verdict was accepted without appeal and he 
was hanged on the 2d of April. The proceedings con- 
nected with his execution were so widely different from 
those of a later, and the present day, that a reference to 
them may be of interest. The culprit, dressed in white, 
trimmed with black, and seated on his coffin in an open 
wagon, was transported from the Bridewell (City Hall 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 153 

Park) through Broadway to an open field at the junction 
of Second Avenue and about Thirteenth Street, where 
his execution was witnessed by many thousands of per- 
sons; his body was then taken to the Hall of the Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons in Barclay Street, where it was sub- 
jected to a number of experiments with galvanism. 

An Egyptian mummy, the first ever brought to this 
country, was exhibited in one of the basement rooms of 
the Almshouse; an ordinary building, alike to a row of 
six three-story dwelling-houses, occupying the site of the 
present new Court House. 

May 16. The steamboat Etna, plying in the Raritan 
River and hence to New Brunswick, justified her ill- 
omened name by bursting both of her boilers, involving a 
great loss of life. As her engines were of the type known 
as high pressure, and this was the first instance of this 
type in Northern or Eastern waters, loud expressions 
were to be heard of the danger to be apprehended from 
this class of boats. 

In June the Chancellor decided the long-mooted vexed 
question as to the exclusive right of some parties to the 
navigation of certain rivers; and thus the Hudson River, 
for example, was decided to be open to general naviga- 
tion by steamboats. The steamboat Olive Branch, on the 
route to Albany, which had been compelled (in order to 
evade the act giving to certain parties the exclusive right 
to navigate hence to Albany by steam) to start from 
Paulus Hook, touching here en route, was, in -common 
with all others, permitted henceforth to run directly 
from here to Albany. 

August 15 General Marquis de Lafayette, the friend of 
Washington, who had given to this country his generous 
aid in the dark days of the Revolution, arrived here in 
the packet-ship Cadmus. On the i6th he landed at Castle 
Garden, the guest of the nation, being received by the 
entire military force of the city and an enormous con- 



154 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

course of citizens. He was greeted by many of his 
former companions in arms, notably, Generals Van Cort- 
landt and Clarkson, and Colonels Marinus Willett, 
Varick, Platt, and Trumbull; General Morgan Lewis and 
Colonel Nicholas Fish were necessarily absent. In order 
to add to the assemblage of citizens upon the reception 
of General Lafayette, the committee of arrangements 
provided that upon his arrival mounted buglers should 
ride through the city, and at certain intervals, at the 
corners of streets, proclaim his arrival by blasts from 
their instruments. The incidents of this most interest- 
ing visit have been related in sufficient detail by other 
chroniclers. I shall here merely refer to the reception 
at the mansion (before mentioned) of Colonel Rutgers, 
on Monroe, Cherry, Clinton, and Jefferson streets, then 
at its height of elegant comfort; and to the great fete of 
September 14 at Castle Garden, enclosed for the occasion 
in canvas; an entertainment which, for brilliancy and 
success at every point, was far in advance of any that 
ever before had been essayed in the city, and was equalled 
only by the reception at a later day of the Prince of 
Wales. Castle Garden (Castle Clinton), originally a 
small fortified island off the Battery, known as Fort 
George, had been leased by the city to a Mr. Marsh, who 
converted it into a day and evening resort. The entire 
portion facing the bay and river at the top of the parapet 
wall was floored for a very convenient width, with seats at 
the sides, and being protected by awnings in the day, it 
was, in connection with the character of the citizens that 
patronized it both day and evening, without parallel, and 
the most enjoyable spot, of a warm day, that the city had 
ever possessed. 

It was from a party of young men who were in the 
habit of meeting at Castle Garden that the " Toe Club " 
was formed, one of the first social clubs that was organ- 
ized in New York, the members of which were designated 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 157 

"Toes," and their place of meeting was termed their 
"Shoe." Subsequently they met at Stoneall's, corner 
Fulton and Nassau streets. 

Le Roy, Bayard & Co. were asked by the Greek depu- 
ties in London representing the Greek Government, to 
furnish an estimate of the cost of a fifty-gun frigate, to 
be built in this city. They gave a detailed estimate 
summing up a little less than two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars. As a result of such an unlooked-for 
low estimate, orders were received by Le Roy, Bayard 
& Co. to proceed, and they contracted with Henry Eck- 
ford for one vessel, and G. G. & S. S. Howland with 
Smith & Dimon for another. The reported cruelties 
practised upon the Greeks by the Turks, with whom 
they were at war, aroused such a feeling of indignation 
here that a fund was raised to aid in the construction of 
these frigates. 

The vessels were not only not completed within the 
period specified in the contract, but not for twice that 
period. Their cost, enhanced by charges for commission, 
premiums of exchange, brokerage, etc., exceeded the 
amount of the estimate furnished even for the cost of 
one. 

When the vessels were completed, named Hope and 
Liberator, at a cost of a little less than nine hundred 
thousand dollars, there was a balance due on them, and 
they were not allowed to depart. But so pressing was 
the need of the Greeks that it was proposed by them to 
leave one in security for the balance, provided the other 
was allowed to depart, which was refused. A committee 
of three merchants was appointed as arbitrators of the 
case ; and the United States Government bought the 
Hope for two hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars, 
named her Hudson, and removed her to the Navy Yard, 
where she remained as a receiving ship; but, having been 
built hurriedly of green timber, she soon rotted and was 



158 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

never put in active service, and in 1825 was offered by 
the Government at a public auction, and retained by it 
at a bid of five thousand dollars. 

Soon after charges of corruption, over-charges, etc., 
were so publicly and persistently made that cards re- 
questing suspension of public opinion were published in 
the papers, followed by pamphlets in explanation and 
defence. The whole affair, from beginning to end, was 
a reflection upon the character of many of the parties 
concerned to such an extent that the recital of it in 
Walter Barrett's book is painful to read, and especially 
so when it is borne in mind that the citizens of the 
United States at large were zealously appealed to, to con- 
tribute to the fund in aid of the struggling Greeks, and 
that funds were contributed not only by individual con- 
tribution, but by societies, colleges, firemen, schools, etc. 

It so occurred that I was personally advised of some 
of the proceedings in the construction of these vessels. 
The bookkeeper and only clerk with the constructors of 
the Liberator (Smith & Dimon), after the exposure of the 
great cost of these vessels, was taken into partnership; 
and it was a common remark in the neighborhood of their 
yard that they built several vessels after the Liberator, 
and were not known to buy much material. 

The Advocate, a leading paper, in its columns of the 
2ist of September, published the fact, accompanied with 
expressions of its disapprobation, that a young man had 
been seen smoking in the streets so early as nine o'clock 
in the morning. 

In boring for water in Jacob Street during this year 
a moderately effervescing spring was struck, which, upon 
being submitted to chemical analysis by Dr. Chilton, was 
reported to possess medicinal elements. The owner of 
the property forthwith furnished the first floor of the 
building with the instruments of a spa, and a stock com- 
pany was organized. The water was sold at sixpence 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 159 

a glass, and for some weeks the receipts were very 
remunerative; but upon some one suggesting that, as the 
locality was surrounde.d by tan-pits, which had retained 
tan-bark, lime, and animal skins for half-a-century or 
more, the ground might have received and imparted to 
the spring water such a variety of elements as to give it 
effervescing or sparkling qualities, the business ceased, 
the siphons were removed, and the building was occupied 
for the purpose of other trade. 

Piracy in the West Indies, which I have before men- 
tioned, was continued to such an extent that a public 
meeting of the citizens was called to urge upon the Gov- 
ernment more effective action in its suppression. A 
meeting of citizens was called to consider the matter of 
the erection of "a statue to General Washington. 

November 24 the sloop Neptune, hence to Albany, was 
capsized off West Point, and twenty-three of her passen- 
gers were drowned. 

December 9 Captain Harris of H. B. M. frigate Hussar,. 
challenged the Whitehall boatmen of this city to a race 
with a crew from his ship, in a race-boat of his that had 
won a prize at Halifax, the Dart, for a thousand dollars 
a side. The interest in the race was very great; it was 
estimated that there were full twenty thousand specta- 
tors. It occurred off the Battery, over a triangular 
course; the weather and the water were rough, and the 
Whitehall boat, the American Star, was victorious by a 
lead of about three hundred yards. 

The daily publication of newspapers at this time was 
but 14,266. The Advocate, a leading paper, both political 
and social, had three thousand subscribers. 

In this year James P. Allaire, the proprietor of the 
largest steam-engine manufactory in the United States, 
located on Cherry and Monroe between Walnut (Jack- 
son) and Corlears streets, designed and constructed the 
engines of the steamboat Henry Eckford, which were of 



l6o REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the compound type, being the first of the kind built in 
this country or applied to marine purposes in any coun- 
try; subsequently, 1825 to 1828, he constructed those of 
the Sun, Post Boy y Commerce, Swiftsure, and Pilot Boy. It 
was not until more than thirty years after (1860) that 
the English engineers revived this type of engine; intro- 
ducing it in all their steamers and land engines with 
the improvement of a receiver intermediate between the 
cylinders, and operating with a much higher pressure of 
steam. 

A considerable movement in the theatrical world took 
place in the year 1824. The Lafayette Theatre in Lau- 
rens Street near Canal, owned by Major-general Charles 
W. Sandford, was built by him. 

May 10 the Chatham Street Garden, built in 1822, and 
designed for a resort in summer, as it was covered only 
by an awning, was reconstructed as a theatre, at which 
Joseph Jefferson, Jr., afterward appeared, and also Will- 
iam R. Blake for the first time in New York. 

The American Museum (Scudder's), originally at 20 
Chatham Street, and now in New York Institution (see 
page 83), was the only one in the city. In evenings 
of favorable weather a band of musicians from over 
the portico enlivened the grounds in front, which became 
a very popular resort. Subsequently it removed to the 
building on the corner of Broadway and Ann Street, the 
site of the late Herald build ing, and here were transferred 
the curiosities of the Museum, afterward owned by Phineas 
T. Barnum, the world-renowned showman. It was here 
that Barnum opened a theatre under the style of " Lec- 
ture Room," of which that close observer, the late 
" Artemus Ward," remarked that you could see Barnum's 
actors before seven o'clock in the morning g[oing to work 
with their tin dinner-pails. Here Barnum produced his 
Mermaid, manufactured by a Swede in Washington; his 
"Woolly" horse, Wild Woman of Borneo, Joice Heth, 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 161 

the " What-is-it ? " etc., and generally rejoiced in hum- 
bug. The premises were destroyed by fire, July 4 
1865. 

September 23, in some of the principal streets, the 
laying of gas-pipes for public service was begun, and on 
the 30th Samuel Leggett, the President of the Gas Com- 
pany (New York), gave a reception at his house, in com- 
memoration of the event. 

I remark a circumstance that even now appears in 
memory as a matter of importance in the social life of 
old New York. Edward Windust, who had occupied 149 
Water Street, opened his famous restaurant in the cellar 
of No. ii Chatham (Park Row), where for very many years 
he remained unrivalled as a caterer. Moreover, his 
premises were a centre of animated life, the home of the 
theatrical profession, and the resort of the brightest minds 
in society. For theatre parties the place was without 
rival. Between the acts at the Park Theatre the rooms 
were filled with men of fashion and wit, and at all times 
with the gourmets. The walls were richly adorned with 
illustrations of the stage. It had an entrance also in 
Ann Street, which was not generally known (it was not a 
' * side door"), and young men would frequently employ 
a hack and direct it to Windust's, leaving it standing in 
front, and they would then pass out through the Ann 
Street door, leaving the hack to await them until the 
driver, becoming alarmed for his fare, would enquire 
and discover his loss. It was in this place that William 
Sykes, in 1833, who either was employed by or in part- 
nership with Windust, was accidentally shot one evening 
by a young man exhibiting his pistol. Later (1837) 
Windust withdrew and leased a building, 347 Broadway, 
opening it as the Atheneum Hotel, where he failed of the 
success he anticipated. 

Windust's motto, Nunquam Non Paratus, was no vain 
boast. Some distorted memory of it must have brought 
6 



162 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

about an amusing incident just related to me by an emi- 
nent citizen of New York. He was walking on Sixth 
Avenue when he remarked, within an oyster-shop, an 
imposing sign bearing the legend, Nunquam Paratus. 
Entering the place, he said to the proprietor that he 
wanted some oysters, but saw that he could get none 
there. "What d'ye mean?" said the man gruffly. 
"Why, you have a sign hung out to say you are not pre- 
pared with them." "No sich thing. Where is any 
sich sign?" "Why, here; this Nunquam Paratus." 
"Humph !" said the oyster man, "I guess you don't 
know that's Latin, that sign is. It means 'always pre- 
pared." "My friend," was the visitor's reply, "I 
guess somebody has been humbugging you; if you 
want to have 'always prepared,' in Latin, you must 
say, Nunquam Non Paratus; the sign you now have 
up means 'never prepared/' My informant added 
that he did not know if other scholars had been con- 
sulted or not, but on passing the shop a few days after- 
ward, he observed that the Nunquam Paratus had dis- 
appeared. 

In Marion, near Houston Street, there was a theatre in 
which the performers were colored. 

James Fenimore Cooper conceived and originated the 
formation df a club which was designated the Bread and 
Cheese Club, which met semi-monthly at the Washing- 
ton Hall in Broadway, now the northern part of the site 
of the Stewart Building. Amongst its members were 
eminent scholars and professional men of the period. In 
balloting for membership, "bread" was an affirmative 
vote, and "cheese" a negative. 

Accompanying an enthusiastic disciple of Isaac Walton 
to Patchogue, L. I., we reached .Roe's tavern in the 
regular course of stage and wagon in twenty-six hours ; 
the same distance is now (1895) accomplished in less than 
three hours. 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 163 

The offices of a leading broker in Wall Street, between 
Broad and William, rented for five hundred dollars per 
annum. 

At this period the public promenades in the city were 
restricted to the Battery and to the bridge leading to 
the Red Fort, foot of Hubert Street, simple breathing- 
places, without even seats or refectories of any descrip- 
tion. The general public went to Hoboken, where there 
was a large public-house on an elevation of the ground, 
sloping down to the river immediately at the ferry land- 
ing, which was known as the " Green," and from thence 
there was a wide shaded walk up to the boundary of the 
Stevens Mansion. In this walk of a week-day, young 
people from the city would flock, and spruce beer, mead, 
gingerbread, and fruits could be had. On Sundays the 
visitors were of a different type, young men, clerks, 
shopmen, and young merchants, would fill the benches 
on the "Green," smoke, and drink lemonade and port- 
wine sangarees. American whiskey was then wholly 
unknown north of Baltimore, and as for lager beer, 
it did not appear until many years after. So gener- 
ally was the " Green " patronized on a Sunday, that 
it was publicly reported that Arthur Tappan offered 
one million dollars for the ground in order to close it 
up on that day. 

On the opening of the " Elysian Fields" (1831) the 
walk was extended on the river shore to them, and then 
the green in front of the house of entertainment there 
was occupied in the manner that the " Green " had been. 

The Rev. Prince Hohenlohe, near Olmiitz (Moravia), 
was reported to have performed miracles, and a lady of 
Washington, who had been many years afflicted, com- 
municated with him, and, at a preconcerted time, prayed 
with him, whereupon it was proclaimed she was imme- 
diately cured. I recollect the report of the case and 
the extended discussion it involved at the time. 



164 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

About this period night-latches for the outer doors of 
residences were introduced, and in order that the great con- 
venience they effected may be fully appreciated, one must 
understand that prior to this these doors were secured 
only by a large iron lock, the iron key of which varied 
from six to eight inches in length, and was of a proportion- 
ate weight thereto; hence, if a member of a family pur- 
posed to remain out late at night, he had either to agree 
with some member of it to remain up for him, to lock 
the door and take the key with him, or awake the family 
by the knocker on the door. Door-bells were then very 
rarely, if at all, in use. The old story of a man, in default 
of a knocker at his door, having used that of a neighbor 
to awake his family is not a fiction; a case did occur in 
Warren Street, in this city. 

The New York Bible Society organized. Occupied a 
room corner of Cedar and Nassau streets, then one in Cliff 
Street, then one in Hanover Street, then erected a 
building on Nassau between Beekman and Ann streets ; 
1830 enlarged ; 1852, at its present site, occupying the 
square bounded by Third and Fourth avenues, Astor 
Place, and Ninth Street; cost, $304,000. Supplies Bibles 
to families and emigrants as they arrive, to vessels, pub- 
lic institutions, Sunday-schools, hotels, and city mission- 
ary societies. 




DUTCH HOUSE 






CHAPTER VIII 

1825. WILLIAM PAULDING AND PHILIP HONE, 

MAYORS 

A NUMBER of citizens associated in 1823, and formed 
a society for the custody of juvenile delinquents, and 
their moral and scholastic improvement; and as another 
party entertained the purpose of constructing a House 
of Refuge for such delinquents after the manner which 
had been proposed by Dr. John Griscom six years 
previously, the two associations joined; and in 1824 the 
United States Arsenal at junction of Broadway and the 
old Boston or Middle Road, which had been built in 1806, 
now the site of the Farragut, Worth, and Seward monu- 
ments, was fashioned to accommodate the two sexes of 
juveniles, and on the ist of January, 1825, it was opened 
for operation. This building was burned in 1839, and the 
institution was removed to the foot of East Twenty- 
third Street in October of that year. 

The site of these buildings and the surrounding area, 
in 1807, extended to Thirty-fourth Street on the north, 
Third Avenue on the east, and Seventh Avenue on the 
west; it was reduced in 1814 to the limits of Thirty-first 
Street, Fourth and Sixth avenues, and designated as 
Madison Square. About 1844 a further reduction was 
made to the present limits of Madison Square Madison 
and Fifth avenues, Twenty-third and Twenty-sixth streets. 
The original design was that of a great military parade- 
ground. 

In this year Chambers Street was extended from Cross 
(now City Hall Place) to Chatham Street; the name of 



1 66 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



Hester Street, from Centre to Broadway, was changed to 
Howard Street ; the Merchants' Exchange building was 
begun ; a new building for the Savings Bank lately 
known as the Bleecker Street was erected in Chambers 
Street. An extensive fire occurred in Spring, Sullivan, 
and Thompson streets. The city was divided into twelve 
wards. Illuminating gas was coming more and more 
into general use, and the wooden lamp-posts were being 




UNITED STATES ARSENAL, BROADWAY AND MIDDLE ROAD, NOW 
MADISON SQUARE 



replaced by those of iron. Gas-pipes were now first laid 
in Broadway from the Battery to Canal Street. As the 
gasoliers, burners, etc., were made in England, and no 
invoice for them was received with the first shipment of 
these articles, a delay of several weeks ensued before 
their cost could be known, and the price be computed 
for which they should be sold. 

March i. First appeared the Courrier des Etats Unis, 
published at 55 Wall Street, and on March 21 the first 
Sunday newspaper known in New York, the Sunday 
Courier, edited and published by James C. Melcher. 

The steamboats United States, Captain Beecher, and 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 167 

the Linnceus, Captain Peck, ran to New Haven, fare three 
dollars. The dimensions of these boats were less than 
those of the transfer boats that now ply between Brooklyn 
and Jersey City, without equal accommodations and with 
very much less speed. The steamboats Constittition and 
Constellation were launched in the early part of this year, 
and, when engined, were put upon the route to Albany, 
by an association known as the Hudson River Line, in 
opposition to the Old or North River Line, which was 
ultimately rendered bankrupt by this competition. 

The Mowatt Brothers, owners of the steamboat Henry 
Eckford, proposed the novel project of transporting 
merchandise and produce between New York and Albany 
in barges towed by a steamboat, and in pursuance of the 
design, the Henry Eckford was advertised to start from 
the foot of Rector Street with two barges in tow. As 
the design was generally held to. be impracticable, the 
attendance did not exceed one hundred and fifty persons 
(of whom I was one) ; it was generally asked, if the en- 
gine of one boat was well employed to transport itself, 
how could it effectively transport two others? At the 
appointed time, with a punctuality worthy of imitation, 
the boat moved off with her load, and reaching Albany in 
the practicable time of twenty-four hours, the operation 
was acknowledged to be a success. 

Up to this year, when tow or tug boats were introduced, 
sailing vessels were navigated from Sandy Hook around 
the city, and even through Hell Gate, under their canvas 
alone. Vessels of war, beating from the Navy Yard down 
the East River and Bay, were a frequent and interesting 
sight. 

Charles Hall, a prominent merchant of this city, 
generally known by an undesirable sobriquet, built the 
ship Washington, of 979 tons old measurement (equal to 
about 1 1 20 of the present, for a hull of her dimensions 
and model), and stayed her lower masts with chain 



l68 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

shrouding. This was not only the largest merchantman 
that had ever been built in the United States, but the 
first one in which chain rigging was introduced. In 
consequence of her great size and novel rigging she was 
very generally visited by residents and strangers, who 
with common accord pronounced her a failure, as a 
business experiment on account of her size, and nautically 
on account of her lower rigging; and she was colloquially 
termed "Bully Hall's failure." 

April 26. The cleaning of the streets, piers, etc., for 
the current year, with possession of the sweepings, was 
offered at public auction, and the lowest price to be 
received by the contractor was five thousand dollars! 

The sweeping of the streets was so different from that 
in operation at the final period of these reminiscences 
that it is worthy of reference. Thus, all house and store 
holders were required to clear the gutters and sweep the 
pavement in front of their buildings out to the centre of 
the street, from whence it was the duty of the department 
of street-cleaning to remove the dirt; but alike to many 
other public duties, the neglect of it was more apparent 
than the observance; and, as a result, not only were the 
newspapers and individuals loud in their many complaints, 
but frequently parties, suffering from the neglect by the 
accumulation of filth in the streets, would pile it up in a 
great mass and then label it " Corporation Pudding," and, 
in later years, "Bloodgood Pies," etc.; Bloodgood being 
the head of the department. 

Passengers from Philadelphia via steamboat to Borden- 
town, thence by stage to New Brunswick, thence by 
steamboat, reached the city in eleven hours and fifteen 
minutes, and the occasion was deemed worthy of public 
notice. 

May 2. The Bull's Head and the attendant tavern 
were removed from the Bowery and Bayard Street to 
Third Avenue and Twenty-sixth Street, remaining the 






PHILIP HONE, MAYOR 



169 



head-quarters of the drovers and horse-dealers; for many 
years Daniel Drew was the proprietor of it, and as there 
was not at this period a bank above the Park, the money 
of his customers was deposited with him. 

At the time of the construction of the Bull's Head 
Tavern the locality was covered with trees, and back of 
the building was a grove, to which picnic parties from 







BULL'S HEAD TAVERN, SITE OF NEW YORK (BOWERY) THEATRE 

the city resorted. The property was at one time owned 
by Peter Lorillard. In its earlier history it was a simple 
road-house after the style of the times. In the evening 
it was a place of meeting of the drovers, and it was told 
that they were in the habit of playing " crack loo " there, 
to an extent that involved the loss of hundreds of dollars. 

The evident and increasing demand for an enlarged sup- 
ply of water for the city was becoming so manifest that 
Bronx River was suggested by some, and boring by others, 
as means of obtaining the needed supply. 

The capacity of this river was estimated to exceed three 
6* 



170 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

million gallons per diem, but it was, and is, in the summer 
months, barely equal to the volume of water now required 
for the flushing of our gutters, the sprinkling of the 
streets and the parks and drives. 

May 28. The steamboat Bellona, under command of 
Cornelius Vanderbilt (the late "Commodore"), com- 
menced to run to Union Garden, Staten Island, for 
12^ cents each way. This was Captain Vanderbilt's 
second command, and when William Gibbons (the owner 
of the steamboat line to Amboy and New Brunswick) 
in 1828 withdrew all his boats in consequence of a newly 
enacted law of the legislature of New Jersey, which 
he alleged to be unjust to him, he gave the Bellona to 
Captain Vanderbilt. In illustration of the difference in 
the manner in which steamboats of that day were fitted, 
compared with the present mode, it will be interesting to 
learn that the pilot-house of the Bellona was immediately 
over the engine-room, and that instead of bells to signal 
to the engineer, one stroke of a cane on the floor was the 
signal to start or to slow, as the position of the engine 
admitted, and two strokes were the signal for backing. 

Fitz-Greene Halleck published his " Marco Bozzaris " 
and "Fanny" in this year. 

The steamboat Constitution, on May 29, made the run 
from Albany to New York, aided by a freshet in the river, 
in the unprecedented time of 13^ hours. A flue of 
the boiler of this boat, on June 21, collapsed while 
she was landing at Poughkeepsie, and three persons 
were killed. As the boilers of all steamboats, with the 
exception of the sEtna, which burst her boiler in 1824, 
were made of copper, the circumstance that this one of 
the Constitution was of iron, was made the occasion of 
much consideration and discussion as to the safety of iron 
compared with copper. 

The boiler of the steamboat Legislator, at foot of Rec- 
tor Street, exploded on June 2, killing four persons 






PHILIP HONE, MAYOR 17! 

and wounding three others. I witnessed the occurrence 
and went on board of her a few minutes after it. One of 
her crew in the mess-room, on hearing the rupture of the 
boiler, threw himself into a large tool-chest, closed the 
lid, and by this course escaped unharmed. 

The removal of houses, fences, etc., in the line of Sixth 
Avenue to Love Lane (Twenty-first Street), in view of 
the opening of the avenue, was ordered to be effected 
before the i$th of July. 

Theodore Downing, long and well known as a caterer, 
after having essayed at 40 Sullivan Street, in 1820, and at 
33 Pell Street in 1822, opened at 5 Broad Street, where 
he continued, until the building was removed to accom- 
modate the Drexel building, to enjoy a wide-spread repu- 
tation for the excellence of his oysters, and the superior 
manner in which he cooked plain dishes. 

About this period Captain Maxwell, of a line of Liver- 
pool packets, who resided on the bluff at the Narrows 
near to Fort Lafayette, brought over a number of 
English pheasants and set them free, having in view the 
domestication and rearing of them in that locality. This 
is cited to illustrate the primitive condition and wildness 
of the locality at that time. 

Mr. Daniel R. Lambert, on the night of the 3d of June, 
in company with some friends, was returning from a visit 
to a friend (Lyde) who resided on or near Broadway and 
Tenth Street, a location so strictly suburban that it par- 
took of the character of the country. About i A. M. 
he was offensively addressed by a party of young men, 
and upon retaliation and defence being essayed, Mr. Lam- 
bert was killed by a blow in his stomach. The young men 
were subsequently tried and convicted of manslaughter. 

In consequence of the general want of confidence in the 
safety of travel by steamboats, a company which had been 
duly organized constructed the steamboats Commerce and 
Swiftsure, and the passenger barges Lady Clinton and 



172 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Lady Van Rensselaer; the design being total detachment of 
the passengers from the risk of explosion of the boiler or 
fire on the steamboat. The first trip was that of the Com- 
merce and Lady Clinton on July 9. They made the run 
hence to Albany in about twenty-four hours, and were 
held to be very pleasant and safe, but the want of 
speed was fatal, and in two seasons they were displaced 
by the steamboats New Philadelphia and Albany, of 
Messrs. R. L. & J. C. Stevens of Hoboken. The safety 
barge system was supplemented, however, in September 
of this year by service of the (repaired) Legislator, towing 
the barge Matilda hence and from New Brunswick, N. J. 

At this time it was suggested, the project being favor- 
ably considered by many, that it would be practicable and 
advisable to open and extend Canal Street, as a canal or 
strait, from river to river. The public pound then was 
in the Park grounds and near to the City Hall. 

September 7. General Lafayette, having completed 
his tour in this country, in the course of which he had 
received distinguished marks of popular reverence and 
affectionate regard, embarked on board the United States 
frigate Brandywine, Captain Charles Morris, for Cherbourg. 

A most interesting and significant series of celebrations 
began when, on October 8, the Erie Canal was formally 
opened to the Hudson River at Albany, and Samuel L. 
Mitchell, LL. D., M. D., on the part of this city, poured 
water from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans into that of the 
canal. On the 26th the completion of the great work was 
celebrated by the departure of a flotilla of canal-boats 
from Buffalo, at 10 A. M., added to at Albany by steam- 
boats, and proceeding thence to Sandy Hook, where water 
from Lake Erie, from the Mississippi and Columbia rivers, 
and from the rivers of twelve foreign countries, was sol- 
emnly poured into the Atlantic. The start from Buffalo 
was at the signal of a gun, which was transmitted by other 
guns at intervals for the entire distance to New York, 



PHILIP HONE, MAYOR l j^ 

and then returned in the same fashion; the times be- 
tween the first and last guns from lake to sea, and from 
sea to lake again, were an hour and twenty-five minutes 
each way. This famous aquatic procession, with its fit 
company of dignitaries, traversed it might almost be 
said under a canopy of flags the whole breadth of the 
State, and then the Hudson River, lighted by succes- 
sive bonfires and to the sound of church bells through 
the whole length of its route. On November 4 it reached 
New York, when the city fairly ''broke loose," with every, 
possible official and popular demonstration of rejoicing. 
At the City Hall fifteen thousand fire-balls were ignited 
and projected. 

A writer of 1892 notes: "Probably no one who wit- 
nessed this celebration unless it was a babe in arms, car- 
ried by some mother who herself wished to view the pro- 
cession now lives." An incomprehensible statement, 
since only sixty-seven years had passed in 1892, and many 
witnesses of the celebration in the days of their conscious 
childhood or youth remained, and still remain (1895). 

The Lafayette Theatre, in Laurens Street near Canal, 
which had been built in the previous year and was occu- 
pied as a circus, was selected as the most available arena 
in which to hold the Grand Canal Ball, which occurred 
on November 7. 

It was while the canal celebration was engrossing 
public interest (October 15) that Mordecai M. Noah, 
editor of the New York Enquirer, essayed the realization 
of a long-meditated scheme, and at the head of an asso- 
ciation of Hebrews purchased Grand Island in Niagara 
River, termed it the city of Ararat, laid its corner-stone, 
and by a proclamation of his, as first Judge of Israel, 
announced the reorganization of the Government of the 
Jewish nation. The enterprise failed. 

Thomas S. Hamblin, the actor, arrived from London 
on October 26, and on November i appeared at the Park 



174 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Theatre in "Hamlet." Mrs. Sharpe (ne'e Leesugg), sis- 
ter to Mrs. Hackett, had arrived in New York ten days 
earlier. She appeared at the Park on November 15. 
Her diverse talents elicited praise for her in almost 
every department of the drama. She retired from the 
stage in 1839. 

Edmund Kean, who had returned from London in this 
month, was engaged to appear in Boston, but in conse- 
quence of his having left England under the cloud of a 
very public scandal, the attendance at the theatre at the 
time of beginning his performance was so light, as ob- 
served by him from behind the curtain, that he declined 
to appear, withdrew from the theatre, returned to this 
city, and essayed to appear here. A large portion of the 
audience, comprising many Bostonians, resented his 
action and arrested the performance. Mr. Kean, having 
published a very candid statement of the cause of his 
action, coupled with a very proper apology, was permitted 
to perform. 

During this autumn "The Lady of the Lake," pro- 
duced at the Chatham Garden Theatre, created a genuine 
furor, and at the same house great popularity was obtained 
by a domestic opera entitled "Forest Rose," written by 
Samuel Woodworth, in which Yankee character was 
represented, much to the public delight. 

Peale's Museum, at 232 Broadway, opened October 26 
of this year, was for many years a deservedly popular 
resort for old and young; the young people were amused 
with the comic recitals of Dr. Valentine, and interested 
by exhibitions of curiosities, by being weighed, electri- 
fied, etc. 

The Garcia troupe that had lately arrived, the first Ital- 
ian troupe in the country, appeared at the Park Theatre 
on November 29 in "II Barbiere di Seviglia" before a most 
brilliant audience. It was reported that the box-office 
receipts for the evening were three thousand dollars, an 






PHILIP HONE, MAYOR 175 

enormous sum for those days. My impression is that the 
Garcia company was brought to this country through the 
effort of Dominick Lynch, himself a musical amateur, and 
a man of fashion and great favorite in the society of his 
time. The nights of performance were Tuesdays and 
Saturdays; boxes, two dollars; pit, one dollar. Signorina 
Garcia was thefrima; she was very pretty and sprightly, 
and was soon married to Mr. Eugene Malibran of this 
city. Her musical fame as Mme. Malibran is a part of 
history. The few remaining men of her day will probably 
agree that Malibran has been unequalled, and though 
deductions may be made on the score of immature 
musical judgment at the time of their hearing her, and 
fond attachment to youthful impressions, there remains 
ground for supposing from the consent of adequate critics 
who knew her performances that she really was the most 
gifted and accomplished singer of modern times. Mme. 
Malibran's most successful career was brought to an 
early close through the effects of a fall from her horse at 
Manchester, England, in 1836 (she was born in 1800). 

The Garcia company gave seventy-nine representa- 
tions of various works of the Italian school, appearing 
for the last time in New York late in September of 
1826. Mme. Malibran, however, remained here for about 
a year longer. 

In this year there was introduced from Paris the novel 
fashion of tapering the legs of men's pantaloons from the 
knee down to the foot, shaping them over the instep and 
holding them down by straps under the boot; it was 
termed a la mode de Paris. This inconvenient manner 
was soon after improved by returning to the wide legs of 
the pantaloons, and securing them with a leather strap 
under the boot or shoe, buttoned at the sides. 

The steamboat Sun was launched about this time', and 
at a later day she ran from Albany to this port in a few 
minutes over twelve hours, which was far in advance of 



176 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

any previous passage. This performance was held to be 
worthy of being recorded in rhyme, which read : 

" Now hurrah for the steamboat Sit/i, 
From Albany to York she come ; 
In hours twelve and minutes few, 
The time is short, the story's true." 

December 23 the name of Slote Lane was changed to 
Exchange Place. On the 3ist the thermometer marked 
27 below zero. 

The Botanical Garden on Murray Hill, known as 
Elgin's Garden, from Forty-seventh to Fifty-first Street, 
and Fifth to Sixth Avenue, had been founded by David 
Hosack, M. D., as early as 1801, while he was Professor 
of Botany in Columbia College, and the question of its 
utility was the subject of much discussion at this time. 
This estate of " Elgin" had been purchased from Dr. 
Hosack by the State in 1814 and given to Columbia 
College to replace a Vermont township granted long 
before, and lost when the claim of New York to owner- 
ship of Vermont was defeated. This ground forms the 
chief part of Columbia's present endowment. 

In this year the young Duke of Saxe-Weimar visited 
the city and country. En route to Niagara Falls by 
stage, at one of the change-stables or hotels he entered 
the bar-room to warm himself, when, as he was the 
only passenger wanting to fill the list, the new driver 
entered and asked, "Where is the man I am going 
to drive ? " to which the Duke responding, the driver 
rejoined, "And I am the gentleman that's going to 
drive you." 

The prototype of the present steel pens was made of 
silver; the sale, however, was very restricted, in face of 
attachment to the established quill; the ever-pointed 
pencil also made its first appearance in this year. 

About this time were built in Broadway, opposite to 



PHILIP HONE, MAYOR 179 

Bond Street, two houses, Nos. 663 and 665, with marble 
fronts, probably the only houses in the country con- 
structed of that material. They were then known as the 
" Marble Houses," later as the Tremont House, and now 
are absurdly renamed the New York Hotel. So excep- 
tional were they as to excite a very general curiosity, and 
the Sunday afternoon walks of our citizens were in some 
cases extended, in order to obtain a view of them, and 
the " Marble Houses " became one of the land-marks of 
the boundaries of the city. 

In evidence of the difference in the character of those 
who then superintended and controlled local political 
matters from those of the present day, termed ward poli- 
ticians, a newspaper of 1825 gives notice of ward meet- 
ings, signed by such men as Campbell P. White, Isaac 
L. Varian, Daniel P. Ingraham, Stuart F. Randolph, 
I. B. Thorp, and others like them. 

The consumption of cotton in the United States for 
the preceding year was estimated at 150,000 bales. For 
the "cotton year" ending September i, 1894, it was 
2,319,688 bales, and for the year September i, 1892, to 
September i, 1893, it was 2,431,134 bales. 

Walter Barrett, in his wonderful history, "The Old 
Merchants of New York/' gives the cause of so many 
boys from the Eastern States, or from abroad, succeeding 
in business and becoming partners in the houses in which 
they were employed, while the advance of our city boys 
was much less; asserting it to be their cheerful willing- 
ness to do that which is required of them, when the City 
boy would mutter, "I'm not an errand boy." In illus- 
tration of this, I became acquainted with a Mr. Bernard 
Graham, who had been a porter in the extensive house of 
Peter Harmony & Co., at No. 63 Broadway, and was then 
known as the out-door man of the firm, of which he sub- 
sequently became a partner. Further, a young man who 
had worked on a farm until he was seventeen years of 



l8o REMINISCENCES OF- AN OCTOGENARIAN 

age, became a pedler of tin and wooden ware. In 1793 
he established a store at 40 Maiden Lane, and com- 
menced the sale of dry-goods. He made money, then 
bought a house in Pearl Street, and, as customary at 
that period, he and his family lived over the first floor 
or store. In 1823 he built himself a handsome home 
in the upper part of Broadway, and when he died, he 
left a fortune of eight hundred thousand dollars, which 
was divided among a large family of children; but little 
of which now remains with the heirs of those who re- 
ceived it. 

After the acceptance of the Commissioners' Map of 
the city of 1807, a square designated as Hamilton was 
bounded by Third and Fifth avenues, Sixty-sixth and 
Sixty-ninth streets, but it has been since closed. Fay- 
ette, running from Chatham Square to Bancker, was in 
this year changed to Oliver Street. 

The several city ordinances defining the requirements 
of housekeepers, individuals, etc., were better observed 
than at a later day. There was one that restricted signs, 
emblems, etc., from being projected beyond the face of 
buildings, and in evidence of the strict manner in which 
it was observed, a tea-dealer on Broadway, an English- 
man, displayed a carved elephant over his store, with the 
head projecting out into the street; he was summoned to 
pay the fine due to his violation and also to remove the 
figure. He refused to comply; so singular, so unpre- 
cedented, was such resistance that the matter became of 
public notoriety, being reported and animadverted upon 
in the daily papers. This man, some years afterward, 
while looking out of a front window of the American 
Hotel, corner of Broadway and Barclay Street, saw 
a woodcock alight in the Park. He took his gun, 
went over to the Park, flushed the bird, killed it, and 
blinded an eye of a boy, for which he was sued for 
damage. 






MAYOR I Si 

In winter the wearing of fur caps by gentlemen was so 
general that felt hats 'were exceptional; even the ladies' 
hats were either made of fur or trimmed with it. Pass- 
ing up Broadway in the winter of 1825-26, at the north- 
ern corner of Vesey Street, I witnessed in great part 
the following scene. At this period and for many years 
after, until the street was sewered, all the surface water 
from the Park ran over a depression across Broadway, 
and down Vesey Street, and, as a result, the gutter dur- 
ing a heavy rain or thaw would be knee-deep, involving 
the use of a board to bridge it. At this time the gutter 
was running very full from the effects of a thaw, and a 
man, well-dressed and of presentable appearance, had 
dragged a chinchilla hat from off the* head of a negress, 
stamped on it, and then threw it into the gutter, where 
it was rapidly borne down the street. Upon being ques- 
tioned why he had done it, he replied: " I have just paid 
eighteen dollars for a chinchilla hat for my sister, and 
I don't mean that any nigger-wench shall wear one like 
it, while I know it." 

It is worth noting that the social status of negroes, at 
that period and for many years afterward, was very dif- 
ferent from that of the present time. Negroes were not 
admitted in street stages, in the cabins of steamboats, 
theatres, or places of amusement; and in churches 
only in pews at the foot of the aisles which were assigned 
to them. Later, when street railways were put in 
operation, the Sixth Avenue line designated some of its 
cars by painting conspicuously on the sides, "Colored 
Persons allowed in this Car." 

With the exception of the negresses of the Bowling, 
Jackson, and Dandy Cox class, they generally wore ban- 
danna kerchiefs on their heads, and they were not 
called ladies; in fact, the terms ladies and gentlemen 
were used with much more discrimination than later. 
The appellation of sales-lady to a sales-woman would 



182 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



have been held as a joke, and would have been resented 
by the recipient of the term. 

New York Dispensary, organized 1790, incorporated 
1798. Having omitted any previous notice of this institu- 
tion, I avail myself of a recollection of a visit to it in com- 
pany with one of its physicians. It was and is located 
in Centre, corner of White Street. The district of its 
operation is bounded by the North River, a line through 
Spring Street, Broadway to Fourteenth Street, thence to 
and down First Avenue to Allen and Pike streets and 
the East River. Its object is the furnishing of free 
medical, surgical, and dental aid, vaccination, and the 
visiting of deserving sick in their homes when necessary. 

In this year the population of the city was only 160,- 
086, and of this number 12,575 were colored and sixteen 
of them were entitled to vote.* 

* The first Directory was published by David Frank in 1786, but 
thirty-nine years previous to this, and contained but 851 names, of which 
there were 7 Smiths, I Kelly, and I Brown. 







M 'GO WAN'S PASS, 1816. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTH STREET 
AND SIXTH AVENUE 



CHAPTER IX 

1826. PHILIP HONE, 1825-26, AND WILLIAM PAULDING, 
1826, MAYORS 

THIS year was one of much commercial distress, the 
result of the failure of several spurious banks chartered 
by the State of New Jersey. Subsequently, by the 
failure of several insurance companies, was revealed 
an amount of venality that affected the commercial 
character of the city at home and abroad, and also that 
of a number of persons of character and respectability; 
resulting in the conviction of some by a court of justice; 
some of them being sent to the Penitentiary, while 
others appealed to the Court of Errors, and escaped by 
the casting vote of the Lieutenant-governor. 

Jacob Barker, who has been already mentioned (1822), 
in consequence of his connection with the Exchange 
Bank at a previous date, and the Washington and 
Warren at a very late period, was very seriously and 
generally censured in the public prints, and some years 
after this he became a citizen of New Orleans. He 
resided at 34 Beekman Street, a neighborhood which at 
that time was the residence of many of our well-known 
and distinguished citizens; he enjoyed not an enviable 
reputation for his shrewdness in business matters and 
responsibilities. My employer, who had a bill against 
him for the repairs of his steamboat Marco Bozzaris, 
threatened to sue him; whereupon he said: "It is not 
worth while for you to go to the expense, when you can 
buy a judgment against me of any amount you want at 
a very low rate." At this time, which was some years 



184 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

prior to his leaving for New Orleans, a number of 
brokers publicly advertised or proposed to raise the 
amount of three hundred dollars, to give him as an 
inducement to leave the city. 

Instances of Barker's shrewdness have been frequently 
repeated. Thus, when a boy, he engaged to carry a 
trunk for a passenger to a neighboring hotel, but finding 
it too heavy for him to handle alone, he secured the ser- 
vices of a playmate by promising that if he received two 
apples for the work he would give him one. The trunk 
was transported, and Barker received a sixpence, where- 
upon, when his assistant asked for his half, he replied: 
"If he had given me two apples, I would have given you 
one, as I said; but as he did not give me apples, I have 
none to give you." On another occasion, he had in- 
curred the dislike of the paying teller of a bank, and upon 
demanding payment in specie of a check for a thousand 
dollars, he was given a box of six-penny pieces. At this 
time, and for many years afterward, in making a deposit 
in a bank, the teller, when he had counted the amount, 
asked the depositor the amount of it, and if his account 
agreed, well; if not, a new count was made. Upon 
receiving this box Barker caused the lid to be raised, 
withdrew a few pieces, pocketed them, and then directed 
the balance to be passed to his credit as a deposit. 
Whereupon the teller had to count the entire contents 
of the box, while Barker had but to count his small 
portion and subtract it from the whole in order to 
name the amount of the deposit. 

When in the shipping business he was at one time 
much exercised regarding the safety of a particular 
vessel on a distant trading voyage, which he had not 
insured. He one day applied to an insurance office for 
a very full amount upon her; the application not having 
been made " binding," he did not ask for the policy, 
but a few days afterward he hurriedly appeared at the 



PHILIP HONE, MAYOR 185 

office and told the president of the company that he 
need not sign the policy, as he himself "had heard of 
the vessel." Whereupon, the president replied that 
the application had been accepted and the transaction 
completed, retired to his private office, and returned 
with the policy duly signed, which Barker pocketed. 
Soon after it was posted that the vessel had been wholly 
lost. Barker had "heard of the vessel," that is, he had 
heard of her loss. It was reported .that this was a case 
of "diamond cut diamond"; the policy, in fact, having 
not been signed until after Barker reported hearing from 
the vessel; the president intending thus to secure the 
premium without taking any risk. 

Mrs. Hackett, who since her marriage had retired from 
the stage for a period of seven years, was induced to 
return to it, in consequence of the failure of her hus- 
band, a merchant of Utica, and appeared on January 27 
at the Park Theatre. March i, James H. Hackett himself 
appeared for the first time on any stage at the Park, and 
in spite of the nervousness natural under the circum- 
stances, his success warranted his adoption of the profes- 
sion. He made several profitable English tours from 
1827 to 1851. In 1829 and 1830 he was connected with 
the Chatham and the Bowery managements ; in 1837 
he managed the old National for a time ; still later, he 
was concerned in the Astor Place Opera House. He 
brought out Grisi and Mario in the summer of 1854. 
Hackett's imitations were remarkable, and his Dromio 
(especially with Barnes) and Falstaff were wonderful. 
He gained a great deal of money, which he used first to 
pay all his trade debts. As a raconteur he was inimitable. 

On March 20 the Common Council required hacks to 
have lighted lamps at night. 

March 30. One Hewlett, a colored representative of 
"Shakespeare's proud heroes," as he himself termed it, 
gave illustrations of his talent at u Spruce Street. 



l86 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

At this time the steamboat Washington, under the com- 
mand of Captain Elihu S. Bunker, then and for many 
years afterward well known, commenced running to 
Providence. John C. Symmes returned to this city and 
delivered a series of lectures in support of his theory of a 
passage to the centre of the earth, at the North Pole 
(see 1821). 

June 5. Garden Street (Exchange Place) was widened 
to Broad. The Merchants' Exchange building (the 
present Custom House), was in course of erection. The 
project of constructing a railroad between Schenectady 
and Albany was entertained and advanced. 

June 12. Hackett appeared at the Park Theatre for 
the third time on any stage, for the benefit of his wife, 
as Monsieur Morbleu in " Monsieur Tonson. " 

June 15 George P. Morris's play of " Brier Cliff" was 
produced at the Chatham Garden Theatre and achieved 
decided success and long popularity. July 15 Thomas 
Placide appeared at this house for the first time in New 
York ; becoming much esteemed as a capital low come- 
dian, though of less talent and general capacity than his 
brother Henry. He very soon after joined the Park 
company. 

June 23 Edwin Forrest appeared for the first time in 
New York, at the Park Theatre, as Othello. Returning 
to the Park, he produced " Metamora " and " The Gladia- 
tor," both written for him. He was twice in England. 
Forrest's connection with the Astor Place riot, and his 
divorce suit, injured him in public estimation ; yet im- 
mediately after the verdict in the latter case, being 
engaged at the Broadway Theatre, he opened (in January, 
1852) to an enormous house, and played Damon for sixty- 
nine consecutive nights, surpassing all records of tragic 
performances then existing. 

June 24, St. John's Day, was laid the corner-stone of 
Masonic Hall, on the site of 314 and 316 Broadway, a 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 



I8 7 



Gothic structure of imposing appearance among buildings 

of the time. It contained a fine saloon 100 feet long, 

50 feet wide, and 25 feet high, richly decorated. Here 

the first fair of the American Institute was held. After 

the alleged murder 

of Morgan and the 

organization of the 

Anti-masonic party, 

it was named Gothic 

Hall. 

Before this building 
was completed, Wil- 
liam Morgan pub- 
lished his book pur- 
porting to reveal the 
secrets of Masonry, 
and then occurred 
his hidden and un- 
explained disappear- 
ance. As it was 
alleged that he had 
been murdered by MASONIC HALL V 1826 

Masons and his body 

secreted, the charge was availed of by some politicians in 
the State, and an Anti-masonic party was organized, which 
not only pervaded this State, but extended to contiguous 
States, and continued active for some time. Thurlow 
Weed, of Albany, took a leading part in availing himself of 
the excitement against Masons, with a view to the organi- 
zation of an opposition to the Democrats. Upon being 
told that the body of a drowned man had been found in 
Niagara River and that some declared it to be that of 
Morgan, while others who had seen it denied that it was 
his, Weed is reported to have said : " It is a good enough 
Morgan until after the election." In 1830 Francis Gran- 
ger received one hundred and twenty-eight thousand votes 




l88 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

as Anti-masonic candidate for Governor of New York. In 
1832 William Wirt was Anti-masonic candidate for Presi- 
dent of the United States, and obtained the electoral votes 
of Vermont, a State which was for several years wholly 
under Anti-masonic rule. During this excitement Masons 
were held to be so obnoxious to propriety and good 
citizenship that the order was measurably paralyzed ; so 
much so that some lodges closed and others met but 
rarely, in one case I know of, the lodge withdrew and 
donated its funds, exceeding six thousand dollars, to a 
charitable institution, but in time the opposition lapsed 
and Masonry lifted its head, and was soon restored to 
popularity and usefulness. In the meanwhile the name 
of the hall was changed to Gothic Hall. 

July 4 the new Lafayette Theatre was opened. 
General Sanford built during this summer the Mount 
Pitt Circus, in Grand Street, opposite East Broadway, 
first opened in November. 

On arrival of the Liverpool packet Silas Richards, her 
captain reported that in a given latitude and longitude, 
he, with his passengers and crew, saw a sea serpent on 
the yth of June. 

July 18 the project of cutting a canal from One Hun- 
dred and Eighth Street at the Harlem River to Spuyten 
Duyvil Creek, was first entertained and discussed. 

September n the Williamsburgh Ferry Co. petitioned 
the Common Council to allow them to replace their 
horse-boat with a steamboat, as a steamboat was not 
provided for in their grant. 

September 19 a family from the South arriving here 
with several slaves as servants, a party of resident 
negroes assembled soon after and endeavored to incite a 
mob for the purpose of freeing the slaves, but the general 
populace and the Courts resisted the design. 

The firm of Arthur Tappan & Co. was the largest 
silk house in the city. Arthur and Lewis Tappan were 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR ^9 

the principal originators of the abolition of slavery move- 
ment. Arthur was a zealous bigot of a pronounced 
type. He issued to the clerks of the house, and sub- 
mitted to all applicants for employment, the follow- 
ing requirements and rules for their government and 
manner of living : " Total abstinence ; not to visit cer- 
tain proscribed places nor remain out after ten o'clock at 
night ; to visit a theatre, and to make the acquaintance of 
an actor precluded forgiveness; to attend Divine service, 
twice on Sundays, and on every Monday morning to report 
church attendance, name of the clergyman, and texts; 
prayer-meeting twice a week, and must belong to an 
anti-slavery society and essay to make converts to the 
cause." 

September 21 the steamboat New Philadelphia made a 
passage hence to Albany in the unprecedented time of 
twelve hours and fifteen minutes, including all her eight 
landings. The Sun, in her fast passage, came from 
Albany, or down the river. 

September 27 Henry Eckford, George W. Browne, 
Mark Spencer, and Jacob Barker, who had been indicted 
for a conspiracy upon the allegation of irregular transac- 
tions in the operation of certain banks and financial com- 
panies, were arraigned in the Court of Oyer and Terminer 
held by Judge Edwards ; they were prosecuted by Hugh 
Maxwell and Peter Augustus Jay, and defended by 
Thomas Addis Emmet, William M. Price, Murray Hoff- 
man, David C. Golden, and William R. Williams ; Mr. 
Barker defending his own case. The Court forbade the 
publication of the current testimony. Stenography was 
not practised then. On the 23d of the following month 
the jury was discharged, having failed to agree upon a 
verdict ; their decision was reported to be seven to five 
for a verdict of guilty, against all ; and eight to four for 
all but Henry Eckford. 

October 2 the famous English tragedian, W. C. Ma- 



190 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

cready, made his American debut at the Park Theatre, as 
Virginius, instantly taking a very high place. He re- 
turned to England at the end of the season, but was 
again at the Park in 1843, and made his last appearance 
there in the autumn of 1844. 

The first of the stone buildings of the General Theo- 
logical Seminary in Chelsea Square (Ninth and Tenth 
avenues, Twentieth and Twenty-first streets) was com- 
pleted in this year, the corner-stone having been laid by 
Bishop White, July 28, 1825. This was the one after- 
ward termed the East Building, removed in 1892 to make 
way for new houses for the professors. The present 
Dean of the Seminary, the Very Rev. Dr. E. A. Hoffman, 
writes in a recent article published in the Trinity Record : 
11 The site was then far removed from the city and 
extended down to the banks of the Hudson, being sur- 
rounded on the other sides by green fields, enclosed by 
post-and-rail fences. The grounds, which now stand 
above the street, were then an apple orchard, which was 
situated near the corner of what is now Ninth Avenue 
and Twenty-first Street. Professor Clement C. Moore's 
country residence extending from Nineteenth to Twenty- 
fourth Street and from Eighth Avenue to the river, and 
known as Chelsea was the only house in the vicinity; 
and with this exception, save a few straggling houses in 
the village of Greenwich, there was scarcely a good brick 
house to be found between it and Canal Street. The only' 
approach to the grounds was through a narrow road, called 
Love Lane, running easterly to the Bloomingdale Road, 
now Broadway ; while the water was at times so deep 
immediately around the new building as to make it inac- 
cessible during a great portion of the winter, except on 
horseback or in a carriage." This fine property had been 
given to the Seminary by Clement C. Moore, immor- 
talized among children by his verses, " 'Twas the Night 
before Christmas"; being a part of his patrimony, 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 191 

formerly attached to the country-house of his father, the 
Rt. Rev. Benjamin Moore, Bishop of New York. 

October 23 was a day of consequence in New York's 
theatrical annals, for it saw the opening of the New York 
Theatre ; so named officially, but even then called and 
afterward universally known as the Bowery Theatre, con- 
structed on the site of the Bull's Head (see page 169). 
It was opened with "The Road to Ruin," and the farce of 
" Raising the Wind," under the management of George H. 
Barrett. Prices of admission : pit, 37^ cents ; boxes, 75 
cents; gallery, 25 cents. This was the first theatre in New 
York to be lighted with gas. The house and stage were the 
largest in America. For many years Thomas S. Hamblin 
was the lessee, and Gilfert the manager, and the house 
acquired great fame. Many plays of note were here first 
produced, and many actors and actresses who became 
celebrated first appeared here. Here Mme. Malibran 
was paid six hundred dollars for a performance a sum 
in those days held to be enormous and here she made 




CLEMENT C. MOORE'S RESIDENCE 



IQ2 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

her last appearance in America, on October 28, 1827. 
The Bowery suffered more than its fair share of the fate 
that besets theatres, being four times destroyed by fire ; 
viz., in 1828, 1836, 1838, and 1845. 

In December of this year it was first thought necessary 
to pave the sidewalk in Canal Street, and then only on 
one side. Waltzing was first introduced this season as 
an element of evening entertainment; this occurred at 
the house in Franklin Street of a member of a leading 
French shipping firm. I was present. The discussions 
and declarations on the propriety of such a lapse from 
the requirements of a society principally (at that time) 
confined to the descendants of Knickerbockers and Puri- 
tans, can more readily be inferred than portrayed. Sed 
tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis. 

Lithography was first introduced. There was but one 
boat at the Paulus Hook (Jersey City) ferry. It was 
about this time that the making of mint juleps was intro- 
duced here ; they were a great novelty and were indulged 
in to a great extent, as much in the way of curiosity as 
from a liking for them. 

Onesippe Pacolin commenced business at No. 7 Wall 
Street, and subsequently in 1840 removed to 82 Broadway ; 
he was the first strictly French boot and shoe maker of a 
Parisian stamp that opened in this city, and so superior 
was the material he used, and so thorough his workman- 
ship, that he soon took the lead in his line, and in a com- 
paratively few years retired with an independence. 

Mrs. Knight, from London, first appeared at the Park 
Theatre in this year. 

Lafayette Place was opened on the 4th of July in this 
year, one hundred feet in width and through Vauxhall 
Garden. Bancker, which was a street notorious for the 
objectionable character of its dwellers, and a bye-word, 
was changed to Madison Street. 

The State prison at Christopher Street was purchased 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 193 

of the State by the Corporation for one hundred thousand 
dollars. 

The public schools at this period were but five in 
number, viz. : " Chatham Street," near Tryon Row ; 119 
"Henry," near Pike Street; "Hudson," corner Barrow 
Street ; " Rivington," near Pike Street, and " Chrystie 
Street," No. 70. 

In consequence of a rupture in the relations of the 
Professors and Trustees of the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons, a second college was organized, termed the 
Rutgers Medical College, which was located in Duane 
near to Church Street. 

Antoine Malapar, who in 1825 had been a bar-tender 
at Castle Garden, associated with George L. Pride and 
others, advertised the formation of the Marble Manu- 
facturing Co., assumed the province of a Bank of Deposit, 
and issued notes. The enterprise was viewed with such 
general suspicion that it existed but for a brief period, 
failing within the year, and in its failure the Franklin 
Bank, the Jefferson Insurance Co., and a bank in New 
Jersey in some manner were involved, and they also 
failed. Malapar had descended upon the public in great 
force, and for a time was a noted figure in Wall Street, 
standing prominently on the steps of banks and the 
Exchange, displaying a gold pencil-case wherewith to 
note his operations gold pencils were scarce in those 
days. For a year or more his local renown was nearly 
equal to that of the leading speculators of the day. He, 
however, gradually disappeared from the public gaze and 
was quite forgotten until, a. few years afterward, it was 
learned that he had died in the Almshouse. 

At this period watering-place life was slightly organized 
and comparatively restricted. Nothing was known of 
the general summer exodus that in these days divests 
the finer parts of the town of almost every sign of 
occupancy from May till November. The places of 
7 



194 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

resort for the moderate vacations indulged in at the time 
were Ballston Spa (perhaps Saratoga), Lebanon Springs, 
and Trenton Falls, N. Y., and Schooley's Mountain, N. J. 
Newport was a quiet town at which the steamboats hence 
to or from Providence touched, if there was any one to 
land or to be taken off. Places now thronged by thou- 
sands for the sake of picturesque scenery were then 
unvisited ; indeed the love of Nature seems to be a 
development of more modern civilization and modes of 
thought. The Adirondacks retained their native wild- 
ness ; a few hardy spirits adventured out of curiosity or 
for scientific purposes to some points in the White Moun- 
tain region, and the reports of extreme difficulty and con- 
siderable danger in ascending Mount Washington were apt 
to deter others from imitating their example. It was not 
till 1840 that Abel Crawford, first of all men, rode a horse 
to the foot of the cone or dome of Mount Washington. 

The Almshouse at Bellevue which had been commenced 
in 1823 was completed in this year, and were it not that 
it would awaken mournful recollections among families 
and friends of unfortunates, I could recite a number of 
instances of meeting, in my official visits to Bellevue and 
the "Islands," schoolmates, youthful companions, bright 
intellects and promising men, that were there awaiting 
that early dissolution ever attendant upon debauched 
dissipation. 

New York Society Library, incorporated 1795, was 
located at corner of Nassau and Cedar streets. 

In the previous year, 1819, the French Benevolent 
Society of New York (Sodete Fran$ai$ de Bienfaisance de 
New York) was incorporated ; it was organized in 1809. 
Its objects, to assist needy French people with medical 
advice, medicines, food, clothing, and temporary shelter. 

About 1823 there was a young man in the city who, 
with his associates, amongst some other festive amuse- 
ments, would occasionally, in the early hours of the morn- 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 195 

ing, awake or terrorize the " Dogberrys " of the city 
watch, and who not only did "those things he ought not 
to have done," but " left undone those that he ought to 
have done," and as a result, he was very generally and 
well known and quoted. In addition, he was the owner 
and driver of a very fast mare, which, for exceptional 
speed, his daily displays of her in Broadway, of her 
capacity on the roads, and the uniform manner in which 
she, even at night, however unguided, would return with 
him to her stable, was as well known as he was. 

As there were not any trotting courses or associations, 
especial trotting wagons or sulkies, or timing watches at 
this period, her speed was not publicly known; my im- 
pression is that it was about a mile in three minutes, 
about equal to that of the "Boston Blue" of Mr. Stack- 
pole, who claimed that in 1810 he had trotted a mile in 
two minutes forty-eight and one-half seconds, and in 
order the better to avail himself of such singular and 
exceptional speed, he was taken to England. 

The only competitor of this mare was a horse owned 
by Wm. Niblo named " Dragon," and on an afternoon, 
when the usual number of gentlemen who had driven out 
of town to Cato's (Fifty-second Street) were resting their 
horses and refreshing themselves, the owner of the mare 
referred to entered, and in a discussion that ensued re- 
garding her points he was asked what he thought of 
Billy Niblo's "Dragon," to which he vauntingly replied, 
" My mare can show him her tail from Brooklyn to 
Jamaica. " A lad who was present related this to a boarder 
of Niblo, who immediately challenged the mare, which 
being accepted, the match came off from the turnpike 
gate on the road to Jamaica, about where Adams Street 
and Boerum Place met it. 

Cato drove the mare, and White Howard, a keeper of a 
livery stable at Brooklyn, drove " Dragon," and one of 
the conditions of the match was that, in the event of 



196 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

either horse "breaking up," he was to be stopped and 
turned around; this was not an exceptional requirement, 
it being one that was observed both here and in England 
at this period. " Dragon " won. 

A few years after this the public were surprised to 
learn that the owner of the mare had mended his ways, 
joined the Methodist Church, and become a zealous and 
vociferous member. 

About 1824, a family of Charleston, S. C., on their re- 
turn home, were driven down to a pier south of Wall 
Street, to embark in a vessel, and as the carriage was 
fully occupied by the mother, children, and maid, the 
father walked down. It occurred, however, that the 
carriage was backed against the string-piece of the pier, 
and from its insufficiency, carriage and horses fell into 
the water and the entire party was drowned. I saw the 
carriage and horses in the water. 

St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York, founded 
in 1756, and incorporated in 1826, is probably the oldest 
society in the country. Its object, the promotion of 
social and friendly intercourse among Scotchmen and 
their descendants in this city and its vicinity, and the 
relief of such as may be indigent. 




CITY FIRE-ENGINE 



CHAPTER X 
1827. WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 

ALTHOUGH I have very distinct recollections of the 
existence of the churches here referred to, and of the 
removal or destruction of some of them, I am unable to 
give the exact periods, etc., in all cases, and in conse- 
quence of the lapse of time (seventy years), deficiency in 
records, and the change of ministers, etc., I have had 
much difficulty in presenting this record, and if there are 
errors, they are not with me, but with the authorities I 
have referred to. 

The churches and houses of worship therefore in 
existence at this period which I recollect, and which 
have been either removed by the advance of population, 
sold, or burned, etc., are : 

Episcopal: " Trinity," 1696, Broadway, facing Wall 
Street; 1776, burned; 1788, rebuilt and furnished with a 
chime of bells; 1839, taken down; rebuilt and opened 
May 21, 1846. " Eglise du St. Esprit," Pine near Nassau 
Street; 1704, French Protestant; 1741, repaired; 1780, 
destroyed; 1794, rebuilt; 1803, Protestant Episcopal; 
1834, sold, then built corner Leonard and Church 
streets ; now in Twenty-second Street, between Fifth and 
Sixth avenues. "St. George's," 1752, organized; 1811, 
in Beekman Street; 1814, burned; 1816, rebuilt; 1845, in 
Rutherford Place. "St. Mark's," 1791, Second Avenue 
and Tenth Street; 1799, rebuilt; 1829, consecrated. 
"Christ," 1794, 49 Ann, near Nassau Street; 1823, 



198 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




ST. THOMAS'S CHURCH, CORNER OF BROADWAY AND HOUSTON STREET 

Anthony (Worth) Street, on site of Theatre near Broad- 
way; 1854, West Eighteenth Street; 1859, at Fifth Avenue 
and Thirty-fifth Street; 1891 burned; now on Boulevard 
at Seventy-first Street. At the time this church moved to 
Anthony Street, a part of the congregation objected to the 
move and obtaining permission of the old church, organized 
a parish and named it " Christ Church in Ann Street," 
but it lived for a brief period and 'in 1826 the building 
was sold to Roman Catholics, as below ; 1834, burned. 
" St. Thomas's," 1823, corner of Houston Street and 
Broadway; 1870, corner Fifth Avenue and Fifty-third 
Street. "All Saints," 1825, chapel on Grand, corner 
Columbia Street; 1828, church on Henry, corner of 
Scammel Street. " St. Philip's " (colored), 1805, building 
in William Street; then Cliff, between Ferry and Beekman 
streets; then Rose, near Pearl Street, site obliterated by 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 199 

opening of South William, Duane, and Chambers streets; 
1818, organized in accordance with Protestant Episcopal 
Church; then 31 Collect (Centre) Street, between Anthony 
and Leonard streets; 1821, burned; 1822, rebuilt; 1856, 
sold; 1857, No. 200 Mulberry, near Bleecker Street; 
and 1886, West Twenty-fifth Street, near Seventh Ave- 
nue. "St. Stephen's," 1806, corner Broome and First 
(Chrystie) streets, then consolidated with the " Advent " 
at Forty-sixth Street, near Sixth Avenue. "Grace," 
1808, corner Broadway and Rector Street; 1846, Broad- 
way and Tenth Street. "St. Michael's," 1807, Bloom- 
ingdale(Harsenville); 1810, at Sixty-ninth Street, between 
Third and Fourth avenues; 1869, Seventy-second Street, 
between Lexington and Third avenues, and 1884, corner 
Madison Avenue and Seventy-first Street; 1811, "St. 
James's" was added to "St. Michael's," and they were 
placed under one charge; 1853, burned; 1891, Ninety- 
ninth Street and Amsterdam Avenue. "Zion," 1810, 
corner of Mott and Cross (Park) streets, formerly 
Lutheran; built in 1801; 1815, burned; 1819, recon- 
structed; 1853, sold to Roman Catholics, and 1854, 
corner Madison Avenue and Thirty-eighth Street, 
now consolidated with " St. Timothy," 332 West Fifty- 
seventh Street; 1891, sold to Dutch Reformed. "St. 
Mary's," 1820, Manhattanville was added, 1823; and in 
1825, "St. Ann's" at Fort Washington was also added, 
now extinct. " St. Luke's," 1822, Hudson, near Chris* 
topher Street, now a chapel; 1892, corner Convent 
Avenue and One Hundred and Forty-first Street. 

The Episcopal Charity School, " Trinity," was founded 
in 1704. 



Many Episcopal churches at this time were without chancels proper. 
There was an altar at the rear, with railings around it, where children 
were catechised, confirmation was administered, and the Communion 
received. In front was the pulpit, surmounting a column, in front of 



200 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

which was the reading desk, which effectually hid the altar from the 
view of the congregation. 

In the lower end there were two or three pews assigned to colored 
persons, and the doors were lettered " For B men." 

In 1793 one hundred thousand pounds was received by the Corpora- 
tion of Trinity Church, from the estate of John Leake, deceased, and 
from that time the interest of this sum has been expended in the purchase 
of bread to be distributed amongst the poor of the parish. 

The donation is termed " The Leake Dole of bread." 

Roman Catholic : "St. Peter's," formed, 1783; opened 
1786, corner of Barclay and Church streets; 1838, rebuilt. 
"St. Patrick's," 1815, corner of Mott and Prince streets ; 
later lengthened. "St. Mary's," 1826, formerly Seventh 
Presbyterian, in Sheriff, between Broome and Delancey 
streets, first Roman Catholic bell in the city ; 1831, 
burned by a burglar; 1833, Grand, corner of Ridge Street. 
"Christ," purchased from Episcopalians 1827, 49 Ann, 
near Nassau Street ; 1834, became unsafe for occupation 
and taken down; 1835, James Street. 

Reformed Dutch: "Harlem," 1686, now "First," 
on One Hundred and Twenty-third Street and Third 
Avenue. 

Reformed Protestant Dutch : 1824, "King" Street, near 
MacDougal Street, seceded and called itself "The True 
Reformed Dutch Church," and continued as such until it 
connected itself with a Western secession known as "The 
Christian Reformed Church"; removed to Perry Street. 
"Broome Street," 1824, corner of Broome and Greene 
streets; 1860, to 307 West Thirty-fourth Street near Eighth 
Avenue; 1895, sold to the Collegiate Church. " Houston 
Street," 1825, corner of Greene; 1854, Seventh Avenue, 
near Thirteenth Street; 1859, disbanded and building 
sold. "Manhattan," 1826, Third Street near Avenue D; 
1872, sold. " Duane Street" (colored), 1826, school- 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 2OI 

room near Hudson Street; 1828, disbanded. " Orchard 
Street," 1826, near Broome Street; 1833, sold. 

Congregational: 1804, " Warren Street," near Broad- 
way; 1809, Elizabeth, between Walker and Hester streets, 
as Presbyterian; 1814, sold to "Asbury," colored 
Methodists, burned. " Independent," 1818, rear of 
488 Pearl Street; 1820, Vandewater Street; 1821, to 
Congregational. " Broadway," 1817, corner of Anthony 
Street, dissolved. " Providence Chapel," 1819, Hall, 
corner of Chapel (West Broadway) and Provost (Frank- 
lin) Street; 1823, 49 Thompson, near Broome Street. 
"Broome Street," 1817, Rose Street; 1820, Broome 
Street; 1822, dissolved. " Welsh," 1825, Mulberry 
Street, then Broome, near Bowery; 1833, Presbyterian. 
"Third," 1826, Third Street near Avenue D; 1827, sold 
to " Asbury," colored Methodists. 

German Reformed: "First" (Calvinistic), organized 
1758, 32 Nassau, between John Street and Maiden Lane; 
1765, rebuilt; 1832, sold; 1823, 64-66 Forsyth Street, 
sold; 1834, decreed by the Vice-Chancellor to the Lu- 
therans; 1844, decision reversed by Chancellor; 1844, 
decision reversed again by Court of Errors; 1861, Nor- 
folk, between Stanton and Rivington streets. "Green- 
wich Street," 1803, Herring, corner Amos and Charles 
streets; 1826, sold to Presbyterians; and 1827, removed 
to Waverly Place near Grove Street; 1861, Forty-sixth 
Street, disbanded and sold to Episcopalians. " Blooming- 
dale " (Harsenville); 1805, Broadway, near Sixty-eighth 
Street; 1814, rebuilt; 1832, burned; now Boulevard, 
corner of Sixty-eighth Street. "Northwest," 1808, 
Franklin Street, between Church and Chapel (West 
Broadway); 1854, West Twenty-third Street; 1871, Madi- 
son Avenue and Fifty-eighth Street. " Market Street," 
1810, corner of Henry Street; 1869, dissolved. " Vande- 
water Street," 1820, formerly Congregational. 



2O2 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



Lutheran: " First," 1660, in Fort Amsterdam. 
" Trinity," 1671, log church, southwest corner of Broad- 
way and Rector 
Street; 1741, rebuilt; 
burned in the great 
fire in 1776; 1805, 
ground sold to Grace 
Episcopal Church; 
1744, congregation 
divided, part to an 
old brewery in Skin- 
ner Road (Cliff 
Street); 1767, re- 
united as "Christ" 
or "Old Swamp 
Church," corner of 
Frankfort and Will- 
iam streets (see page 
100), sold to colored 
Presbyterians ; 1822, 
removed to "St. 
Matthew's" (Evan- 
gelical) Lutheran, 
Walker Street, be- 
tween Broadway and 
Elm Street, now cor- 
ner of Broome and 
Elizabeth streets ; 
1826, sold. "St. 
James," 1827, Orange 
Street, between Hes- 
ter and Grand streets, 
building donated by 
Peter Lorillard; abandoned, 1848; then Mulberry, near 
Grand Street; 1857, Fifteenth Street, opposite Stuy- 
vesant Square, now (1895) southwest corner of Madison 




PULPIT IN ST. PAUL'S CHURCH 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 203 

Avenue and Seventy-third Street. "Zion," 1797, corner 
of Mott and Cross (Park) streets; 1801, consecrated; 1810, 
changed to " Zion Episcopal." 

The trustees of the Lutheran "-Old Swamp Church" 
in its early days were offered a plot of ground of about 
six acres in Canal Street near Broadway, a part of the 
Lispenard Meadows; and the Board passed the following 
resolution : " That it was inexpedient to accept the gift, 
inasmuch as the land was not worth fencing in." 

Reformed Dutch (Collegiate) Church: Organized, 1628; 
chartered, 1696; site of first church, 1633, on Pearl Street 
(now No. 33); 1642, the " Church in the Fort," known 
as "St. Nicholas' Church." " South Church," 1693, Gar- 
den Alley (Garden Street) Exchange Place; 1766, en- 
larged; 1807, rebuilt; 1812, independent of Collegiate 
Church; 1835, burned in the great fire, congregation 
divided, part going to Washington Square; 1875, former 
church disbanded and sold to Methodists; the other part 
built in Murray Street; 1849, corner of Fifth Avenue and 
Twenty-first Street; 1890, purchased "Zion Episcopal 
Church," Madison Avenue and Thirty-eighth Street. 
"Middle," 1729, Nassau, between Cedar and Liberty 
streets; 1764, renewed; 1839, Lafayette Place; 1892, 
Second Avenue and Seventh Street; 1844, old building on 
Nassau Street, rented for United States Post Office; 
1861, sold. "North," 1769, William between Fulton and 
Ann streets; 1875, g i te leased and building removed. 

In Garden Street (Exchange Place) there was a free 
school organized in 1663, and in 1784 the church built one 
opposite to it, which was removed to Duane Street and 
in 1835 to Canal, corner of Elm Street; 1847 on Fourth 
Street, and 1863 its two hundredth anniversary was held. 

Presbyterian: "First," City Hall, 1716, Wall Street, 
near Broadway; 1748, enlarged ; 1810, rebuilt; 1834, 



204 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

burned and rebuilt; 1844, sold; 1846, Fifth Avenue, 
between Eleventh and Twelfth streets. " Scotch," organ- 
ized, 1756; Cedar Street No. 33, 1837, corner of Crosby 
and Grand streets; 1853, on West Fourteenth Street, 
corner Sixth Avenue; now (1895), Ninety-fifth and 
Ninety-sixth streets, and Central Park West. " Brick," * 
1768, Chatham (Park Row) Street; 1854, sold; 1858, 
corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-seventh Street. 
" First Associate Presbyterian," 1787, " Nassau Street," 
near Maiden Lane; 1803, rebuilt; 1824, sold to Baptists, 
1853, " Grand Street," corner Grand and Mercer streets; 
1867, " Fourth," Thirty-fourth Street, between Sixth and 
Seventh avenues; 1893, Ninety-first Street and West End 
Avenue. " Rutgers Street," 1797, established; 1798, 
corner of Henry Street; 1842, rebuilt; 1870, "Madison Ave- 
nue " (by James Lenox), corner of Twenty-ninth Street, 
united with it as "Rutgers Church," built and sold in 
1888; now corner of Boulevard and Seventy-third Street 
"Pearl Street" (Associate), 1797, No. 550 Magazine 
(Pearl), between Elm Street and Broadway; 1837, burned 
and rebuilt. "Chambers Street," 1801, opposite New 
York Institution, near Broadway; 1818, rebuilt; 1826, con- 
gregation divided, one part Sixth Street (Waverly Place); 
1835, Chambers Street, sold and removed to Prince, 
corner of Marion Street ; 1849, sold and rebuilt in 
Twelfth Street near Sixth Avenue. " Cedar Street " 
(Associate), 1808, between William and Nassau streets ; 
1834, sold; 1836, corner of Duane and Church streets, as 
" Duane Street Church"; 1852, corner of Nineteenth 

*In 1811, on the occurrence of the great fire in Chatham Street, a 
flake from it rested on the steeple of this church, which becoming in- 
flamed, a sailor from the crowd of spectators below ascended the steeple, 
extinguished the fire, and, when he descended, declined to give his name. 
The plot on which this church was located consisted of about three- 
fourths of an acre, sold in 1854 for one hundred and seventy-five thou- 
sand dollars, and in one year after for three hundred and fifty thousand. 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 



205 



Street ; and 1875, corner of Fifty-fifth Street and Fifth 
Avenue. " Canal Street" (Irish), 1809, Orange, near 
Grand Street ; 1825, Canal and Greene streets. " Spring 
Street" (Old), 1811, near Varick Street; 1825, removed 
to and known as " Laight Street," corner of Varick 
Street; 1843, dissolved, and sold to Baptists. ''Cedar 
Street," near Broadway, 1812; then (Scotch Associate), 
No. 37 Murray Street, opposite Columbia College; 1841, 
taken down and rebuilt in Eighth Street, opposite Lafay- 
ette Place; vacated and sold. " Seventh Church," 1818, 
organized in house, Grand, near Lewis Street; 1819, 
Sheriff, between Broome and Delancey streets ; 1826, sold 
to Roman Catholics ; 1827, corner of Broome and Ridge 
streets ; 1831, burned and rebuilt. "Allen Street," 1820, 
Bancker (Madison) Street ; 1823, removed to Allen, 
corner of Grand Street ; 1832, rebuilt ; now Forsyth 
Street. "Eighth," organized 1819; 1821, Christopher, 
near Asylum Street ; 1841, sold to St. Matthew's ; 1842. 




SOUTH CHURCH," GARDEN STREET. BURNED IN THE FIRE OF 1835 



206 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

disbanded. " Vandewater Street," 1821, near Frankfort 
Street; 1823, withdrawn from the Presbytery; 1825, re-, 
vived ; 1825, dissolved. ''Central," 1822, Broome, near 
Elm Street, now West Fifty-seventh Street, near Seventh 
Avenue. "Village," 1822, near North River and Le Roy 
Street, then as Tabernacle Church ; 1830, disbanded. 
"Bowery," 1822; 1861, sold and dissolved. "Provost 
Street," 1823, near Chapel Street (West Broadway); 1825, 
sold and dissolved. " Bleecker Street," 1825, near Broad- 
way, then Fourth Avenue, corner Twenty-second Street. 
" Spring Street," Scotch (new), 1825, Spring, near Varick 
Street. "Welsh" (Calvinistic), 1833, Broome Street, near 
Bowery, now 225 East Thirteenth Street. "First" (col- 
ored), 1824, Elm, near Canal Street; 1825, sold to Jews' 
synagogue (Benai Jeshurun); 1830, purchased the Swamp 
Church, corner Frankfort and William streets. 

Methodist Episcopal : 1767, Rigging loft in Horse and 
Cart Street (120 William), between John and Fair 
(Fulton) streets; 1768-70, "Wesley Chapel" or "John 
Street," between Nassau and William streets (the first 
Methodist church in America); 1817-18, rebuilt; 1841, re- 
built smaller. 1789, " Forsyth Street " (" Second Street " 
and "Bowery") in Second (Forsyth), near Division 
Street; 1833, rebuilt; 1873, altered and cut down. 
1797, " Duane Street " (" North Church," " North River 
Church," and "Hudson Church"), Barley (Duane), be- 
tween Hudson and Greenwich streets; abandoned and 
sold; " Duane Church," its successor, 1863, Hudson, 
near Spring Street. "Seventh Street" ("Two-Mile 
Stone," "Bowery Village "), a school house and room; 
1795, Nicholas William, between Seventh and Eighth 
streets and Second and Third avenues ; 1817, church 
built beside it with part of material of first church in 
John Street; 1830, removed; 1836-37, Seventh Street, 
between Second and Third avenues. 1810, "Bedford 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 207 

Street" ("Greenwich Village"), corner of Bedford and 
Morton streets; 1830, enlarged; 1840, new building. 1810- 
ii, " Allen Street " (" Fourth Street,") between Delancey 
and Rivington streets; 1836-37, rebuilt; 1888, removed 
to Rivington between Ludlow and Orchard streets, and 
named ''Allen Street Memorial"; original church sold 
to and refitted by a Jewish synagogue. 1819, "Willett 
Street," occupied a mission house leased of Presbyteri- 
ans, Broome, near Lewis Street; 1826, Willett Street. 
1820, "The Methodist Society" (Stillwellite), school 
room in Chrystie Street, then church in Chrystie, 
between Pump (Canal) and Hester streets; eventually 
dissolved. 1824, a second church in "Sullivan Street" 
(Stillwellite), near Spring Street; 1830, joined the 
Methodist Protestant Church; 1839, sold and rebuilt in 
same street, near Bleecker; 1842, joined the Methodist 
Episcopal Church as "Sullivan Street"; 1860, "Wash- 
ington Square," Fourth Street between Sixth Avenue 
and Washington Square. 

African Methodist Episcopal: "Zion," 1796, occupied a 
house in Cross (Park), between Mulberry and Orange 
(Baxter) streets; 1800, organized, then at corner of 
Church and Leonard streets; 1820, rebuilt; 1839, burned; 
1840, rebuilt; 1864, removed to Bleecker, corner Tenth 
Street; 1813, a branch formed in Elizabeth near Pump 
(Canal) Street; 1820, rejoined; 1822, again separated. 
" Asbury," divided and known as " Asbury Church"; 
1820, united with " Zion "; 1823, Elizabeth Street church 
burned; then "Broadway Tabernacle," then hall corner 
of Elizabeth and Grand streets, then in hall on Howard 
Street, then Fourth Street, then Third Street near Ave- 
nue D. 1820, "Mott Street" near Walker Street; then 
burned; then Elizabeth Street; 1835, Second Street. 

Unitarian: "First Congregational," 1821, Chambers, 
near Church Street; 1843, sold; now "All Souls," cor- 



208 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

ner Twentieth Street and Fourth Avenue. "Church of 
Divine Unity," 1845, Broadway, between Prince and 
Spring streets. " Church of the Messiah," a colony from 
the First Congregational, 1826, Prince, corner Mercer 
Street; 1837, burned; 1839, Broadway, near Waverly 
Place, then 1865 sold; 1867, Park Avenue and East 
Thirty-fourth Street. 

Baptist : 1724, a church organized, then a house on 
Golden Hill (Gold and John streets); 1732, dissolved and 
church sold. "First," 1760, 29 Gold, between Fulton 
and John streets; 1802, rebuilt; 1840, sold and taken down; 
1841, Broome, corner of Elizabeth Street. "Second," 
1770, Rose Street; 1791, then divided as "The Bethel 
Church," and the Rose Street party as the "The Bap- 
tist Church in Fayette (1821, Oliver) Street." 1806, the 
Rose Street congregation built in Broome, near the Bow- 
ery; 1820, Delancey, corner of Chrystie Street ; 1830, 
divided, one party going to Mott, then to Chrystie Street; 
the other retained the church in Delancey Street, which 
was abandoned, and ultimately sold for a stable; and the 
congregation removed to "The Sixth Street." "Oliver 
Street Church," 1795, corner of Henry Street; 1800, re- 
built; 1819, rebuilt; 1843, burned and rebuilt. "Scotch 
Baptist," 1803, building in Greenwich Street; divided and 
part termed themselves the " Ebenezer Baptists"; 
1806, Anthony, near Chapel Street, sold; then in York 
Street, and known as "York Street Church"; 1825, 
hall, corner of Broadway and Reade Street; then hall 
in Canal, near Vandam Street, then Houston Street, 
and then Broadway, near Bleecker Street. "Welsh 
Bethlehem," 1807, 68 Mott Street, between Bayard 
and Pump (Canal) Street; 1813, dissolved. "North 
Church," 1809, Vandam near Varick Street; 1818, name 
of " Beriah " added; 1819, burned; 1820, rebuilt on 
Macdougal, near Vandam Street. " Mulberry Street," 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 



209 



near Chatham, 1809; organized as " James Street 
Church," 1838; dissolved, 1838; then as the "Taber- 
nacle Baptist Church," 1853, a part of congregation 
purchased Laight Street Church, corner of Varick, of 
the Presbyterians. " Zoar " Church, 1811, Rose Street; 




REFORMED DUTCH "MIDDLE," CEDAR STREET 

1812, dissolved. "South Baptist," organized 1822, 
in German church in Nassau Street, near Maiden Lane; 
1724, Nassau, between Fulton and John streets, built 
by Presbyterians in 1803. " Union Church," 1823, 
Bowery, opposite Spring Street; 1831, burned, then 
Mott above Spring Street; 1834, Stanton Street, near 
Forsyth, and known as "Stanton Street Church." 



210 REMINISCENCES OB' AN OCTOGENARIAN 

" Provost (Franklin) Street," near Chapel Street (West 
Broadway); 1825, bought by Communion Baptists; 
1832, leased, and 1838, sold to Reformed Pres- 
byterians. "Ebenezer Baptist," organized 1825; 1838, 
Avenue A, near Second Street. "Abyssinian" (col- 
ored), 1809, Ebenezer, or York Street, Church Building, 
44 Anthony, near Chapel Street, sold at auction and 
regained. 

Friends' Meeting Houses: "Liberty Street," 1703, 
Crown (Little Greene) Street, now Liberty Place; 1794, 
rebuilt on Liberty Street; 1802, rebuilt; 1826, sold to 
Grant Thorburn, the seedsman. 1775, "Pearl Street," 
near Franklin Square; 1824, taken down; 1826, removed 
to " Rose Street," near Pearl; then, 1860, East Sixteenth 
Street and Rutherford Place. "Hester Street," 1819, 
corner Elizabeth Street; 1861, sold to New York Gas 
Light Co., and, 1884, transferred to Consolidated Gas 
Co. " United Christian Friends," or "The Society of 
Christian Friends," Prince, near Orange Street. 

Universalist : "First," 1796, Vandewater Street, near 
Frankfort; 1803, purchased from the Lutherans, No. 488 
Magazine (Pearl) near Cross Street; sold to " Zion " 
(colored) Presbyterian, prior to 1810, corner Augustus 
(City Hall Place) and Duane streets; 1837, rented to 
Welsh Baptists, then to a hall in Forsyth Street, then 
the church sold to Roman Catholics and society dis- 
solved. "Second," 1824, Prince, corner of Marion 
Street; 1830, sold to Presbyterians. 

Mariners' : 1819, Roosevelt Street, No. 76; then, 1854, 
Catherine Street, No. 46. 

New Jerusalem: " Swedenborgian," Broadway, near 
Rector Street; 1816, Broadway near Duane Street, then, 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 211 

1821, in Pearl, near Augustus (City Hall Place) Street; 
1845, sold to Zion Baptists; then in various places and 
then Eighth Street, near Fourth Avenue; now, 1859, 
East Thirty-fifth Street, near Park Avenue. 

Moravian: "First," 1739, organized; 1751, 108 Fair 
(Fulton) Street; 1752, dedicated; 1829, rebuilt; 1843, sold; 
1845, southwest corner Houston and Mott streets; 1865, 
sold; 1869, corner of Lexington Avenue and Thirtieth 
Street, purchased from the Episcopalians (which had 
been erected by the Baptists, in about 1825). "United 
Christian Brethren," Third, near Lewis Street. 

Jews' Synagogue: Prior to 1682 "Shearith Israel," 
19 Mill (South William) Street; 1706, removed; 1729, 
rebuilt; 1818, rebuilt; 1834, Crosby, near Spring Street; 
1860, Nineteenth Street, near Fifth Avenue. "Benai 
Jeshurun," 1824, Greene Street. 

It was reported that the "Holy Light" in this syna- 
gogue had by some accident or unavoidable occurrence 
been extinguished, and as a consequence it became 
necessary to obtain a like light from the nearest syna- 
gogue, and one was received from Philadelphia. 

This synagogue possesses four graveyards, the con- 
tinued retention of which, in view of the readiness with 
which some Christian churches have sold theirs, has 
evoked much comment. The " First " (Beth Haim) 
1656, corner of Bancker and Fayette (Madison and 
Oliver) streets; 1729, more ground adjoining was pur- 
chased, some of which was subsequently sold; a 
"Second," cofner of Gold and Jacob streets, but not 
used; a " Third," on Sixth Avenue, near Eleventh Street, 
but partly used; and "Fourth," on Twenty-first Street, 
near Sixth Avenue. When the Common Council pro- 
hibited interment within the city limits, 1852, removed 
to Cypress Hills, L. I. 



212 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

While some Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, 
and Unitarian churches have been removed from the 
lower part of the city, their sites sold, and new edifices 
constructed uptown apparently with greater regard to 
the prominence of the location than to the field of their 
usefulness the Roman Catholic Church, with that zeal 
and singleness of purpose in its advancement which has 
ever distinguished it, has not deviated from its mission 
here, by the blandishment of a fashionable congregation. 
It has not only retained existing churches, but has 
obtained others, in locations where a dense population 
and the prospect of useful work seem to have been the 
guide. "St George's" and the "Brick Church" in 
Beekman Street; the ''Cedar Street" in Duane, and the 
Dutch and Presbyterian churches in Murray Street, 
were removed more to meet- the wishes of a portion of 
their members than to the advantage of their churches; 
the latter, removed to head of Lafayette Place, was con- 
verted to a theatre. 

The "Church of the Messiah" was bought by A. T. 
Stewart and converted to a theatre, also the " Amity 
Street" Baptist, converted to a stable. "Pearl Street" 
Meeting House was bought by Messrs. Appleton, and 
the Broome Street, corner of Greene, by the Merchants' 
Express Co. 

In connection with the Episcopal churches, of which I 
can write from observation, it may not be amiss to refer 
to some of the clergymen. Of Bishops Hobart, Onder- 
donk, and Wainwright, I have treated in other chapters. 
The popular clergymen of the time in this Church were. 
Drs. James Milnor of St. George's, Beekman Street, and * 
Schroeder of Trinity Parish, who, with Onderdonk, Ber- 
rian, and Bishop Hobart, alternated between Trinity 
Church, St. Paul's and St. John's chapels, and Dr. Wain- 
wright occupied the pulpit of Grace Church. Subsequent 
to this Dr. Schroeder resigned and assumed the pastorate 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 213 

of a church in the upper part of the city; his popularity 
ceased, and his position was filled by Dr. Higbee. It is 
related that, when Dr. Milnor died, the city newspapers 
displayed their mourning by ''turning their column 
rules." 

The service in these churches was very different from 
that observed by nearly all of the present time (1895). 
Thus : the ritual of the Common Prayer Book was uni- 
formly and strictly adhered to at all times, whether Com- 
munion was to be administered or not, which Sacrament 
was administered only on the first Sunday in the month, 
and at Christmas and Easter; and, excepting during Lent, 
the church doors were never opened for other than burial 
service from their closing Sunday evening to the next 
Sunday morning, and in religious, moral, social position, 
and in integrity, I fail to recognize any improvement in 
the people at this time. 




GLISE DU ST. ESPRIT, PINE STREET 



CHAPTER XI 
1827. WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 

THE city's expenditure for the year amounted to 
$1,179,634.65; the receipts to $1,149,631.39; and the debt 
remained at $1,483,800. In the three city watch districts 
there were 468 men, 6 captains, and 12 assistants. 

Washington Square was opened, great part of which 
had been occupied as the Potter's Field, the remainder, 
about 3^ acres, being purchased for $78,000. As bear- 
ing on the value of city real estate at this time I quote 
the following passage from a letter with which Mr. 
Edmund Hendricks has obliged me. Mr. Hendricks 
writes : " I find an entry on the Ledger of my Grand- 
father, Mr. Harmon Hendricks, under date of June 4, 
1827, 'Paid J. C. Hamilton, McEvers and S. Ward, 
Executors of Estate of J. C. Vandenheuvel for 66 full 
lots, and a number of strips adjoining my farm up to 
the centre of 79th Street, and half the front on nth 
Avenue, $8,361.15.' ' At a later date, in or about 1833, 
Burnham removed his noted hostelry from Broadway 
and Seventieth Street to this Vandenheuvel mansion at 
Seventy-eighth Street, becoming the tenant of Mr. 
Harmon Hendricks at a rent of $600 per annum. I 
cannot now give the period when Burnham first opened 
his hostelry, but it was anterior to 1825. 

It was now seriously urged by many that the city could 
be supplied with sufficient pure and wholesome water 
from the Bronx River, since it was computed that it 
would furnish above four million gallons per diem; and 
by the lowering of Rye Pond and the aid of dams, etc., 
nearly nine million gallons could be obtained. 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 215 

Hack fares at this date were twenty-five cents a single 
passage for any distance not exceeding one mile; for 
more than a mile, fifty cents; additional passengers 
twenty-five cents each. 

Evan Jones of 53 White Street commenced running 
a line of stages from Broadway and Houston Street to 
Wall Street. Abraham Brower of 66 1 Broadway also put 
on a line from the corner of Houston Street and Broad- 
way to W r all Street, corner of William. In a few years 
after he replaced his early stages with new, larger, and 
more convenient ones, drawn by four horses. When the 
streets were sufficiently covered with snow, the stages 
were replaced with large sleighs drawn by four or six 
horses, and the frolics of a country sleigh-ride were 
moderately indulged in. For full thirty years these 
great sleighs were a striking winter characteristic of 
Broadway. 

January 15 Mme. Malibran appeared at the "Bowery" 
Theatre in English opera, again exciting the liveliest 
interest and attracting great audiences. 

February i a ball was given at the "Bowery" Theatre 

in aid of the Greek Fund, and on the 226. another at the 

Park Theatre; they were well and fashionably attended, 

equalled in character and brilliancy only by the fete to 

.Lafayette at Castle Garden in 1824. 

The Common Council considered the construction of a 
market at the foot of Canal Street and one (the Clinton) 
was finally located there; it also proposed to close the 
sewer in Maiden Lane and lead the surface water to the 
side gutters. 

February 8 Mme. Hutin, a celebrated danseuse from 
Paris, appeared at the New York ("Bowery") Theatre in 
"The Roaming Shepherds." Although, when compared 
with the dress of ballet-girls and nymphs of the stage 'of 
the present day, her dress might be held to be unexcep- 
tionable, and even be approved by a prude of 1896, yet 



2l6 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

its style was so different from that to which we were 
accustomed in this country as to cause a furor to see her. 
The novelty of her manner of dancing and the character 
of her dress were not only the theme of talk and dis- 
cussion for a long while, but they led to a very general 
discussion in the newspapers. In fact, if she had 
appeared as some female characters do now (as early 
as 1880), the scene that was exhibited at the Drury Lane 
Theatre, London, a century ago, upon the first appear- 
ance of " The Beggars' Opera" would in all probability 
have been enacted here. The theatre at this date 
opened at half-past six. 

March 5 an Arcade, which had been in course of 
construction for some months, was opened from Maiden 
Lane to John Street, in the block about one hundred feet 
east of Broadway; it had not the success that had been 
anticipated and survived but a few years. 

March 12 Jacob Barker was tried for libel, and con- 
victed on the loth of the following month. 

Andrew Colvin, who had operated a stage from Wall 
Street to the upper part of Broadway, was constrained to 
abandon the enterprise. 

March 18 the ''Greek Committee," as it was termed, 
that is, the association of citizens who were selected to 
solicit and receive donations for the benefit of the Greeks 
in their resistance to the Turks, despatched the ship Chan- 
cellor to Greece with provisions, etc. 

March 23 the steamboat Oliver Ellsworth, from Say- 
brook, Conn., to this city, collapsed a flue of her boiler 
and scalded several persons. When the boiler was 
repaired, her owner had a piece of the copper plate of 
which the furnaces were constructed heated and doubled, 
and displayed it in the captain's office as a sample 
of the copper of her boiler, leading to the natural 
inference with laymen that it was of the exceptional 
thickness shown, and consequently comparatively safe. 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 217 

Whereas, the thinner the metal plates of a boiler, con- 
sistent with their resistance to a normal stress, the 
safer they are, as they then more readily transmit the 
heat of the furnace, and consequently are less liable 




BROADWAY STAGE AND TATTERSALL'S 

than thick ones to be injured by the burning of the 
metal. 

Third, Seventh, Tenth, and Twenty-first streets were 
ordered to be opened on May i. 

In April Levi Disbrow, who had been employed to 
bore for water for factories in neighboring towns, began 
a series of borings here, with a view to convince our 
citizens of the practicability of obtaining a sufficiency of 
water for their wants by such an operation, and a pipe 
was sunk in Broadway, opposite Bond Street. 

April 2 the steamboat Washington, Captain E. S. 
Bunker, made the run from Providence here in eighteen 



"2 18 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

hours, whereby Boston newspapers were received here in 
twenty-two hours ; the performance was held to be worthy 
of public notice. A ferry-boat from Christopher Street 
to Hoboken, the Fairy Qtieen, commenced running about 
this time, but the exact period has escaped me; probably 
a year earlier, but not later. 

May i the Merchants' Exchange building in Wall 
Street was opened. July 4 the Post office was installed 
in part of the basement of this building; rent of letter 
boxes four dollars per annum. Following the comple- 
tion of the Exchange the marine telegraph previously 
communicating from Staten Island to the Battery was 
extended from Wall Street to Sandy Hook via Staten 
Island. My readers will of course understand not the 
modern telegraph familiar to them, but the old-fash- 
ioned instruments for signalling to the eye aided by a 
telescope. 

May 8 Captain John B. Nicholson, U. S. N., presented 
the city with four granite balls which were alleged to 
have been taken from the ruins of Troy; they were set 
upon the four granite columns at the gates leading to the 
southern entrance to the Park. 

The Legislature constructed the Thirteenth and Four- 
teenth Wards. 

May 24, in consequence of the unusual number of 
strangers visiting the city, from the somewhat diverse 
causes of the yearly meetings of the Quakers and the 
coming races at the Union Course, the papers of the day 
published a list of the places of interest to visitors. To 
illustrate the difference in the number and character of 
these between that time and the present I recite those 
that were given; viz., American Academy of Arts, 
Brouwer's Gallery of Busts, Scudder's and Peale's 
Museums, Spectaculum in Chatham Street, Athenaeum, 
City Library, Automatic Chess Players, Sea Serpent, 
Dwarf, and Wonderful Ox. There were two museums in 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 219 

full operation at this time; viz., Scudder's in the City 
Almshouse, before referred to, and Peale's in Broadway. 
Each sported a band of music with which to beguile 
visitors, and each vied with the other in the effective- 
ness and supremacy of their bands. When one opened 
with "The Star Spangled Banner," the other was sure 
to follow with "Yankee Doodle." Probably in musical 
quality these bands may not have been superior to the 
later one of Barnum, which daily blew with great persist- 
ency from the gallery of the American Museum at Broad- 
way and Ann Street. Of the quality of that one, my 
readers who do not know it may judge from the follow- 
ing story, which is ben trovato, if not true. An ambitious 
young cornet-player applied to Barnum for an engage- 
ment and was agreeably surprised at finding little diffi- 
culty made by the great showman, and ready employment 
on liberal terms. The young musician played steadily 
for more than a week, when, receiving no hint of salary, 
he inquired of Barnum concerning that subject. " Pay ! " 
said Barnum, "I pay you! Nothing of the sort. You 
are to pay me. You seem not to understand, my young 
friend, that my band is made up of men who are learning 
their instruments, and want a good outdoor place for 
practice and to get the hang of playing together. They 
are glad enough to pay, and of course they ought to be, 
for there is no such chance in America for an industrious 
musician to advance in his art as in the band of Barnum's 
great American Museum." 

May 31 the circus in Broadway was converted to a 
Theatre and termed the Broadway, and subsequently con- 
verted to a stable and horse market and named Tatter- 
sail's (see illustration, page 217). 

June 27 Mile. Celeste, a danseuse and actress from 
Paris, made her debut at the "Bowery" Theatre. The 
high reputation she acquired here was confirmed on her 
return to Europe, though she was then very young. She 



220 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

married an American gentleman, and was again at the 
" Bowery " late in 1834. In 1838 she was again here, and 
in the autumn of 1851, when she was at the Broadway 
Theatre. 

Street gas-lamps were first lighted in this month. 

July 4 the " Bowery" Theatre was opened for a day 
performance for the first time, and this was the first 
theatrical matinee ever given in this country. On this 
day negro slavery in the State was abolished. 

August 27 Cliff Street was opened from Ferry into 
Skinner, and both were known as Cliff Street thenceforth. 
Cheapside was changed to Hamilton Street. 

Miss Suydam, daughter of John Suydam of this city, 
while on a tour to Trenton Falls, in passing around the 
amphitheatre fell into the basin below, receiving fatal 
injury. The youth of the lady, added to her social posi- 
tion and accomplishments, evoked regret and a very 
general sympathy for the parents. 

September n Clara Fisher, afterward Mrs. Maeder, 
appeared at the Park Theatre as a " youthful prodigy," 
in the character of Albina Mandeville, in which she ex- 
hibited unwonted precocity and became a great favorite. 
Of her it was written: 

' ' A charming young Fisher a-fishing has come 
From the land of our fathers, her sea-circled home ; 
She uses no line and she uses no hook, 
But she catches her prey with a smile and a look." 

Clara Fisher became the fashion, and for several years 
enjoyed popularity without measure, and most justly. 
In the lighter characters of opera and comedy, and in 
boys' parts, she was unsurpassed. She was last at the 
Park in the season of 1840-41, but late in 1844 appeared 
there as Lydia Languish at the benefit of her sister Mrs. 
Vernon. Later Mrs. Maeder returned to the stage, 
and was seen during the fifties, or perhaps even later. 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 221 

September 12 another mainstay of our stage George 
Holland made his first appearance at the " Bowery," and 
became a chief attraction at Mitchell's Olympic Theatre. 

Boston Road, from One Hundred and Twenty-fifth 
Street to Harlem River, was closed in this year. Henry 
Street was widened. The Manhattan Market at Goerck, 
Rivington, Stanton, and Mangin streets was built. This 
market was named after the neighboring Manhattan 
Island, and I may explain here to the young gentlemen 
from the country who furnish the " city news " for most 
of our newspapers, and in doing it betray no knowledge 
of the town earlier than that acquired the year before, 
that Manhattan Island and the Island of Manhattan 
are very different things. The former title was given to 
a knoll of land lying nearly within the lines of the present 
Houston, Third, and Lewis streets, which at very high 
tides was insulated. For many years the name was by 
extension applied also to the near-by territory; that part 
of the city lying adjacent to the knoll being familiarly 
termed Manhattan Island. 

The editorial staff of the New York Mirror and Ladies' 
Literary Gazette before referred to (1823), being added to 
by Gulian C. Verplanck, Charles Fenno Hoffman, and 
James Fenimore Cooper, the paper was popular and well 
patronized. 

September 13. The Law Committee of the Board of 
Aldermen recommended the erection of an additional 
or Superior Court and the appointment of a Vice-chan- 
cellor. It was also proposed by the board to authorize a 
new ferry to Brooklyn from the foot of Whitehall Street, 
to be known as the South Ferry, but it was so violently 
opposed by Stephen Whitney, Jacob Nevius, and many 
other residents of the lower part of the city, that the 
project was delayed for some years. The arguments or 
objections submitted were, first, that it was wholly 
unnecessary, and secondly, that in the winter season 



222 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the slip would be so blocked with ice as to render it 
impracticable for the boats to enter. There was a force 
in this position that persons of the present day whose 
recollection does not include a period of fifty years can- 
not recognize, from the circumstance I have already 
mentioned, that at that time there were but few ferry- 
boats and fewer steamboats running in the winter season, 
and no tow-boats; hence the ice-fields in the river were 
not broken up as they were even a few years later, and 
are still more at the present time. 

September 29. The Lafayette Theatre was entirely 
rebuilt during this summer, with an imposing granite 
front and a stage 120 feet deep and 100 feet wide, the 
largest then existing in either England or America. 
The renewed house, thought to be the finest in this 
country, was opened. 

October 3 Miss Kelly from London appeared at the 
Park Theatre. 

At a meeting of citizens a committee of fourteen was 
appointed to select a delegation from its number to pro- 
ceed to New Orleans on the 8th of January ensuing (the 
anniversary of the battle of New Orleans), and present 
its congratulations to General Andrew Jackson; and 
Messrs. Saul Alley, Thaddeus Phelps, and James A. 
Hamilton were selected. 

October 9 Mme. Malibran began a brief final engage- 
ment here, at the " Bowery" Theatre. Mr. Malibran's 
financial distress had compelled her to resort again to her 
art as a means of livelihood, and for some time she had 
sung in the choir of Grace Church. Her last appearance 
here was the 28th, at her benefit. The few remaining 
who knew this artist will agree that not only her voice 
and grand style of singing, but also her face, form, and 
gesture produced an impression that will remain while 
memory endures. 

October 28 a duel was fought under the bluff at Wee- 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 22 

hawken Heights on a spot then and for some time after- 
ward well known as the duelling-ground; it was there 
General Alexander Hamilton fell in his duel with Aaron 
Burr, Richard Riker was wounded by Robert Swartwout, 
and General Swartwout and Wm. Maxwell and others had 
fought. The parties were Wm. G. Graham, associate 
editor with M. M. Noah in the New York Enquirer, 
seconded by Louis Atterbury, and a Mr. Barton of Phila- 
delphia, seconded by Wm. E. McLeod. Mr. Graham 
falling at the second fire, his body was ferried across the 
river to about Forty-second Street, or the French tan- 
yards, as the locality was termed. 

November 8 a new version of " Der Freischutz" was, 
produced at the Park, with Charles E. Horn as Caspar^ 
a capital performance. Horn was long admired here, 
while his voice lasted. 

In December Mr. Youle, the proprietor of the shot- 
tower at East Fifty-fourth Street, advertised the sale of 
some lots in its immediate vicinity, and in order to advise 
probable purchasers of the locality and how to reach it 
he published that it was the Spring Valley property on 
the Old Post Road near the four-mile stone, and that 
conveyances would be furnished. 

December n Timothy B. Redmond, proprietor of the 
United States Hotel in Pearl Street (not the present 
hotel in Fulton Street), who had been arrested on an 
indictment for robbery, was arraigned, and his trial post- 
poned. This is mentioned from the circumstance that 
on his trial at a later date (January 17) it appeared that 
his arrest, imprisonment, and trial were solely due to 
his resemblance to a noted thief. From the time of his 
arrest to that of his acquittal the case was the cause of 
much discussion and speculation, as there was a large 
number of our citizens who were disposed to believe 
him guilty. He was honorably acquitted, however, in the 
January following. 



224 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Some hotel-keepers and friends subscribed and gave 
him a dinner, and some time afterward "Old Hays," as 
he was known, arrested a man who proved to be the one 
who had forged and presented the checks. On examina- 
tion he proved to resemble Redmond in a very decided 
manner. In the interval between his incarceration and 
trial many stories were related of acts of Redmond, 
which wereall construed as evidence of a previous course 
of criminality, and he was socially and financially ruined. 

William C. Bryant, who came to the city in 1826, be- 
came a partner and associate editor in the Evening Post. 

December 18 Henry Eckford, considering himself 
aggrieved by the manner in which the District Attorney, 
Hugh Maxwell, had conducted the prosecution against 
him and others (before referred to), and some subsequent 
offensive declarations as alleged, caused a challenge to 
be delivered to him, which was declined. 

The widening of Nassau and Liberty streets was pro- 
posed by the Common Council. 

The Journal of Commerce on September i was estab- 
lished by Arthur Tappan as a great moral and abolition 
paper, and it was announced that lottery and like notices 
and advertisements would be excluded. In 1828 it was 
purchased and edited by Hale & Hallock, absorbing 
The Times, which had been published for a brief period 
before. The publication office was at No. 2 Merchants' 
Exchange, and work was not permitted in it between 
12 p. M., Saturday, and 12 p. M., Sunday. The Journal 
of Commerce and the Enquirer, in their competitive 
efforts to publish the first news of arrivals by sea, 
employed small sailing vessels to cruise off Sandy Hook, 
carrying reporters to board the incoming ships. 

The principal hotels at this period were the Adelphi, 
corner Broadway and Beaver Street; Mansion House, at 
39 Broadway (see page 394), by W. I. Bunker; City Hotel, 
site of Boreel Building, in Broadway, by Chester Jennings ; 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 



225 



National Hotel, 112 Broadway; Franklin House, corner 
Broadway and Dey Street, by McNeil Seymour; American 
Hotel, corner Broadway and Barclay Street; Washington 
Hall, on Broadway, corner Reade Street ; Park Place House, 
corner Broadway and Park Place ; Pearl Street House, 86-88 
Pearl Street; Niblo's Bank Coffee House, Pine, corner 
William Street; New York Coffee House, William Street, 
near Beaver; Tontine Coffee House, in Wall Street, cor- 
ner Water Street; New York Hotel, Greenwich Street, 




BROADWAY, NEAR PRINCE STREET, WEST SIDE, 1830 

between Dey and Cortlandt streets; Northern Hotel, 
West, corner of Cortlandt Street; Walton House, in 
Pearl Street, near Peck Slip; Tammany Hall, corner 
Nassau and Frankfort streets; New England Hotel, 
Water Street, between Fulton Street and Peck Slip ; 
United States Hotel, Pearl Street, near Maiden Lane. 

The schism in the Quakers between ''Orthodox" and 
"Hicksites" resulted in the former building a house in 
Henry Street; the latter party retaining possession of the 
existing houses, which were subsequently sold and the 
present buildings erected on Rutherford Place and Six- 
8 



226 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



teenth Street, and East Twentieth Street and Gramercy 
Park. 

When the Exchange was completed, Exchange Street to 
Broad was named Exchange Place. 

An association of ladies, members of the Wall Street 
Church, organized a Sunday-school some years previous 
to this; but it was in this year absorbed by the American 
Sunday-school Union. 

In this year died Thomas Addis Emmet, the Irish 
orator. 

The secretary of an insurance company in this city, who 
was afflicted with the gambling mania, lost in one evening 
a sum said to have exceeded fifty thousand dollars; soon 
after it was discovered he was deficient fully three times 
that amount; the directors caused him to be arrested 
and imprisoned, and soon after he committed suicide. 




STATE PRISON, WASHINGTON STREET 



CHAPTER XII 

1828-1829. WILLIAM PAULDING, 1828-1829, AND 

WALTER BOWNE, 1829, MAYORS 

1828. JANUARY 2 Mrs. Austin of London appeared 
at the Park Theatre in "Love in a Village." She was a 
charming vocalist as well as actress, and became very 
popular, and remained in this country until 1835. 

At this time the nomination of General Andrew Jack- 
son for the Presidency at the coming convention was so 
well assured that unusual interest was manifested in the 
customary annual dinner at Tammany Hall, on the 8th 
of January, in commemoration of the battle of New 
Orleans. It was attended by the magnates of the Re- 
publican (Democratic) party, presided over by Benjamin 
Bailey. 

In the month of February there were thirty-four 
packet-ships trading between this port and London, 
Liverpool, and Havre. 

A faction of the Democratic party who were in the 
habit of meeting at the "Pewter Mug" in Frankfort 
Street, combined with the Administration or Adams 
men and some anti-Masons, defeated some of the Tam- 
many candidates for office. Hence the term "Pewter 
Muggers." 

March 31, West Street extended to the Great Kill Road 
(Greenwich Street). 

A. M. Bailey in Hudson Street advertised a grate, 
designed for the combustion of anthracite coal, which 
was the first construction of one suited for this new fuel, 
then gradually being introduced into domestic use. In 



228 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



December of this year the first product of the Delaware 
and Hudson mines was received in New York. January 
16 a meeting of the Common Council convened in con- 
sequence of the death of Governor Clinton, a resolution 
was passed inviting Bishop Hobart of the Episcopal 
Church to deliver an eulogium on the deceased, which he 
declined to do, as he held that such and like deliveries 
were " a prostitution of religion to the purpose of secular 
policy." It is very questionable if a bishop or clergy- 
man at the present day would decline such an oppor- 
tunity to signalize himself. Dr. Hosack delivered the 
eulogium. 

Game of all kinds was more plentiful at this time than 
since the multiplying of railroads and steamboats has 
afforded facility for visiting neighboring districts. Thus, 




CITY HALL PARK IN 1817 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 229 

a party of two, in one of the ponds on the south side of 
Long Island, in two days' fishing, killed in trout, weigh- 
ing 60 pounds, one of which weighed 10 pounds 6 ounces. 

Roasted chestnuts were first sold in the streets by a 
Frenchman who made his appearance in or about this 
year, and established himself on the sidewalk, corner of 
Duane Street and Broadway, selling at first only the 
large chestnuts of the Spanish or French variety. He 
became so well identified as the originator of this street 
industry that, upon his death, which occurred not many 
years since, it was noticed in several of the daily papers. 

Asa Hall extended his enterprise of one stage, from 
Exchange Coffee House, site of the Duncan building, 
corner Pine and Nassau streets, to Greenwich, corner of 
Hudson and Amos streets, o a line of stages, of the 
omnibus type, 12^ cents. 

The tax levy in this year was approved at $450,000. 

The City Hotel and lots, now occupied by the Boreel 
Building, were sold at public auction for $123,000. 

March 28 first appeared in New York, in the char- 
acter of Little Pickle, Miss Louisa Lane, now known and 
admired as Mrs. John Drew. 

Arundel, north of Division Street, was changed to 
Chrystie. Reason, from Bedford to Fifth Street, toward 
Sixth Avenue, was changed to Barrow. Collect, from 
Pearl to Hester and from Rynder to Orange, was changed 
to Centre Street, April 7. In 1817 it had not been 
opened beyond Pearl; but was subsequently extended to 
Chambers Street. 

The name and address of Delmonico and Brothers first 
appeared in this year, when they opened a coffee, cake, 
and confectionery room at 23 William Street in a single 
room, in which they and the female members of their 
families dispensed bon-bons, coffee, liquors, pate's, and 
confections. In 1831 they opened a fully appointed res- 
taurant, whence they removed after the fire of 1835 to 76 



230 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Broad Street until their erection of the building, in 1837, 
at intersection of Beaver, William, and South William 
streets, removed in 1890 and reconstructed. Their sub- 
sequent course and the status of their representatives are 
too well known for a recital here. 

May 15 occupants of the State Prison in Greenwich 
Street were removed to the newly constructed building 
at Sing Sing, the construction of which had been com- 
menced in 1825. 

May 20 the "Bowery " Theatre burned, taking fire from 
a neighboring livery stable, whence the winds drove the 
flames to the theatre, beginning with the roof. This 
occurred about 6 o'clock p. M. The postponed benefit 
of Mrs. Gilfert was set for that evening. The house 
was rebuilt better than before within the space of ninety 
days, being opened late in August, on which occasion 
Forrest delivered the address, written by William Leg- 
gett, the editor and critic. 

July 4 William Niblo removed from the Bank Coffee 
House, corner William and Pine streets, and opened 
a hotel, garden, and theatre at the northeast corner of 
Broadway and Prince Street, site of the Metropolitan 
Hotel, and termed it the Sans Sonci. The theatre was 
opened by Charles Gilfert, the " Bowery" manager, for 
a brief seas6n, while his house was rebuilding. Many 
famous performances have taken place at this spot ; not- 
ably here the Ravels long delighted town and country 
alike. At this time " Niblo's Garden " was an actual gar- 
den, with walks, flowers, trees, summer-houses, etc., and 
was considered somewhat remote from town. The theatre 
or entertainment saloon was in the centre. This subse- 
quently gave place to a complete, permanent theatre, 
and the garden vanished. 

August 30 M. and Mme. Vestris appeared at the 
''Bowery"; they were excellent dancers. Forrest and 
Booth, and many other attractions, were offered after the 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 231 

re-opening of this house, but the season was disastrous 
until its close in midsummer of 1829; soon after which 
the manager, Gilfert, died from worry and care. 

Late in the season a full and effective French opera 
company opened at the Park, and continued at intervals 
until the close of 1829. 

The city stages (omnibuses) had so increased at this 
time (twenty in number) that there were five routes 
in operation, viz.: Greenwich, Broadway, Manhattan- 
ville, Grand, and Dry Dock (via Water and Cherry 
streets, etc.). 

September 18 a traveller from Cincinnati reached 
here in the unprecedented time of seven days; so re- 
markable was this considered that it was noticed and 
commented upon in the papers. 

The canvass for the Presidency at this time was very 
warmly contested. The Republicans (Democrats), having 
nominated General Andrew Jackson, designated the 
headquarters of their election districts by planting hick- 
ory-trees as emblematic of his decided victory over the 
Seminole Indians in Florida at the Hickory Swamp, and 
gave him the title of "Old Hickory." In 1844, when 
James K. Polk was a candidate of the same party, he was 
known as "Young Hickory," and small hickory-trees 
were in like manner planted. 

The male prisoners in the State Prison were trans- 
ferred to the new prison at Sing Sing, and in the year 
following the females were transferred. It was proposed 
in 1827 by an association of citizens, after some prelimi- 
nary motions a year earlier, to cause a canal sixty feet in 
width to be cut from the foot of East One Hundred and 
Eighth Street through the island, to terminate at the 
west side of Macomb's Dam in the Harlem River. It was 
to be known as the Harlem Canal. The stock of the 
company was filled by this time, and on September 17 of 
this year ground was broken. The excavation proceeded 



232 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

about as far as Fourth Avenue, after which the enterprise 
was abandoned, having become a source of annoyance as 
well as of loss to all concerned. Until within a few years 
(1895) some remains of the entrance lock were still to be 
seen. 

The New York Screw Dock Company, at 415 Water 
Street, was organized in this year, and the first dock (as 
it was erroneously termed, it being strictly an elevator) 
was located in South Street, since extended out, when 
South Street was opened at that point between Market 
and Pike slips. Zebedee Ring and associates constructed 
and operated it. 

Miss Emma Wheatly, at the age of six, was engaged at 
the Park Theatre this season as a danseuse, and was in 
the habit of executing with her sister a pas de deux 
between the acts. Fanny Kemble in 1832 admired her 
and aided her with instruction, and at the age of thirteen 
she made her regular debut at the Park as Prince Arthur 
in "King John." This appearance was successful, and 
she subsequently appeared as Desdemona, Julia, Mrs. 
Haller, etc., and gave promise of a very decided talent. 
She remained at the Park until the autumn of 1837, when 
she became leading lady of Wallack's company at the 
new National Theatre, while not yet sixteen. In 1837 
she married James Mason, son of the president of the 
Chemical Bank, and retired from the stage in the spring 
of 1838. Her adieu at the National Theatre (corner of 
Leonard and Church streets) was in the character of 
Desdemona, supported by Edwin Forrest, Booth, James 
W. Wallack, William Wheatly, and Mrs. Sefton; and Mr. 
Dayton, in his happy reminiscences, declares the house to 
have been "electrified by the effects of this galaxy of 
talent." Compelled* by pecuniary need, Mrs. Mason 
returned to the Park Theatre in 1847. She died in 1854, 
much lamented, for she had been beloved and admired on 
the stage and in society. 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 233 

Blackwell's Island was purchased by the city in this 
year for thirty-two thousand dollars. 

Joseph Bonfanti, before mentioned as the proprietor of 
a store for varieties of things both " of use and sport," 
was in the annual habit of detailing in verse the character 
and extent of the articles he offered, much to the amuse- 
ment of all. As an example I furnish a specimen verse 
for this year, being a parody on the recitals of the stories 
of Major Longbow by Mr. Hackett, which then were 
popular : 

" I came in an air balloon, 
It rose from the Champ de Mars ; 
And I called on the man in the moon 
To purchase the seven stars. 

He said the stars were dim, . 

Bonfanti's store was nigh : 
I'd better go down to him. 
What will you lay it's a lie ? " 

In December a market (Tompkins) was ordered to be 
constructed in Third Avenue and the Bowery, and 
Liberty Street to be widened in the following May. If 
this street at its present width is the result of widening, 
what could it have been in its original width ? would be a 
natural question of the day. 

There was a social feature of the day, the annual ball 
given by the bachelors, known as the Bachelors' Ball, 
that has lapsed for many years, and it was one that 
should have been maintained. It was a distinguished 
affair and in the van of all essays of that character, being 
far more select in the character of its patrons than would 
be practicable at this time. All the managers wore knee- 
breeches, silk stockings, and pumps. 

In this year appeared the Merchants' Telegraph, pub- 
lished and edited by John I. Mumford. The daily issue 
of all the papers published in the city was given as fifteen 
thousand. 



234 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

August 2 the Mount Pitt circus was burned. 

Kipp & Brown, at 431-433 Hudson Street, commenced 
running a line of stages from Charles to Pine Street. 

Peter M. Bayard occupied n and 13 State Street as a 
hotel and restaurant. In consequence of the location, 
giving an unrestricted view of the Bay, open to the 
south and west breezes in the summer, and the sun in 
winter, it became a favorite resort, and especially of 
a clique of idlers who assembled there in the forenoon, 
and repaired to their evening resorts at the close of the 
day. Here turtle soup was dispensed which was worthy 
of the animal of which it was made; not the pure'e of this 
time, which is served at some of our leading restaurants 
and clubs; not a thin consomme 1 of that which might be 
calves' head or veal, but bona fide turtfe, with callipash, 
callipee, and forced-meat balls. 

William Leggett (heretofore mentioned), formerly a 
midshipman in the Navy, who had resigned in 1826, 
began editing and publishing a paper termed the Critic; 
but as his forcible arguments and caustic articles could 
not sustain it, it soon expired. After this he was 
associated with William C. Bryant in the Evening Post, at 
10 Pine Street. An article of his, published some years 
later (I think in about 1832), in condemnation of the 
Governor's appointing a day of Thanksgiving, which he 
held to be the loss of a' day's wages to the workingman, 
was written with a degree of vigor and emphasis for 
which he was without a superior. 

The first known mention of a Protestant Episcopal 
cathedral was in this year. Philip Hone in his " Diary" 
records that in November Bishop Hobart called upon him 
and opened the project of building a cathedral on Wash- 
ington Square. Mr. Hone approved this, as a "glorious 
project," and adventurously considered the site proposed 
to be "the best in the city" for the purpose. How he 
would have marvelled at the present site, chosen by con- 






WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 235 

servative judgment as being the best, though five and a 
half miles above Washington Square ! 

About this year "The Finish," at the southwest 
corner of Broadway and Anthony (Worth) Street, . was 
opened, as what would much later have been termed a 
" saloon," but at that time it was familiarly known as a 
"gin mill," and one of a high order in its fittings and 
equipments. It was well termed, for it was the finish of 
many of its habitues, and were it not that it is not my pur- 
pose or province to exhume painful reminiscences, I could 
recite many mournful cases, alike to those of some of the 
inmates of the poorhouse on Blackwell's Island, where 
youth, health, social position, and wealth were thrown 
away, under the baneful attractions of this and similar 
places, in pursuit of pleasure. 

In the canvass for the Presidency in this year (John 
Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson), party lines were 
very stringently drawn. The party in power, the 
whilom Federalists, recognized the popularity of General 
Jackson, and in view to weaken it, every act of his, pub- 
lic or private, that could be brought to his disadvantage, 
was published and disseminated; notably his duel with 
Dickinson,* his hanging of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, 
two subjects of Great Britain, who furnished the Indians 
with whom we were at war with arms and supplies, and 
even the sanctity of his domestic relations was invaded; 
but the crowning charge against him was his shooting 
six militiamen for offences, and in order to give this 
the better effect, handbills were printed representing 

*His duel was so exceptional in condition and result that it is worthy 
of notice : pistols at eight paces, and toss for fire. Dickinson won it, 
his ball wounding Jackson in the breast, from which he never fully re- 
covered, but he did not flinch, as he was unwilling that his adversary 
should know he was wounded; whereupon Dickinson exclaimed, " Great 
God, have I missed him ? " Jackson then fired and wounded him so 
that he died soon after. 



236 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

a coffin, skull, and cross-bones, with a recital to the 
effect that General Jackson in his campaign had un- 
lawfully caused six militiamen to be shot, which charge 
was made more effective by setting it forth in the fol- 
lowing verse: 

All six militiamen were shot, 

And, oh ! it seems to me 
A bloody act, a bloody deed, 

Of merciless cruelty. 

These were published and widely scattered by a well- 
known politician in Philadelphia, and known as his 
"Coffin Handbills." Jackson's hanging of Arbuthnot 
and Ambrister was also set forth as a heinous offence, 
although the British Government did not make any pro- 
test regarding the matter. A Democratic paper in this 
city on the occasion of Adams, who was then President, 
passing through here to his home in Massachusetts, semi- 
seriously published that, in paying his passage on board 
the Sound steamer, he offered some of these bills in part 
payment. 

A well-known figure in society was William E. McLeod, 
an ex-officer in a British regiment of Highlanders, whose 
father fell at Waterloo. He was the second of Barton 
in his duel with Graham. 

James K. Paulding, a popular author, published "The 
New Pilgrim's Progress," a burlesque on the guide-books 
and writings of English travellers, and a satire on fashion- 
able life in this city. In 1826 appeared his "Merry Tales 
of Three Wise Men of Gotham who went to sea in a 
bowl," a satire upon the writings of Robert Dale Owen, 
an Englishman, who was notorious for the publication of 
his peculiar proposals for a change in our social relations, 
and in this year for his publication of "The Free En- 
quirer." In 1807 Paulding was associated with Washing- 
ton Irving in the publication of their inimitable " Salma- 



WILLIAM PAULDING, MAYOR 237 

gundi," or the " Whim-whams and Opinions of Launcelot 
Langstaff, Esq., and others." 

In evidence of the decadence of ship-building in this 
city in late years, there were at this time, of my personal 
knowledge, ten ship-yards where vessels of all descrip- 
tions were built; viz.: David Brown's, Jacob Bell's, 
Christian Bergh's, Fickett & Thomes's, Lawrence & 
Sneden's, Smith & Dimon's, Jabez Williams's, Jacob A. 
Westervelt's (since Mayor of this city), Webb & Allen's, 
and S. & F. Fickett's; added to which there were several 
ship-carpenters without yards, that repaired vessels; as 
Henry Steers, Cornelius Poillon, etc., etc. 

The American Institute was chartered. 

1829. January 26 Pump Street, running from Division 
to Collect Street, was changed to Walker Street; this was 
before Canal Street, in name, was continued to East 
Broadway. Reason, from Macdougal Street to where it 
crossed Asylum, was changed to Barrow Street. In 
April Beaver Lane was changed to Morris Street, and 
Herring, from Carmine to Bank Street, became Bleecker 
Street. In May Barrow was changed to Grove Street. 
Clinton Market, on Washington, Spring, Canal, and West 
streets, was opened in April./ Arden, from Bleecker to 
Bedford, was changed to Morton; David, from Broadway 
to Herring, changed to Bleecker Street. 

In February canvas-back ducks were sold for fifty cents 
a brace, and venison brought the price of beef. 

Early in this year a steam locomotive, built in Eng- 
land by the celebrated George Stephenson, was exhibited 
in the iron-yard of E. Dunscomb in W'ater near Frank- 
fort Street. 

There was an elite private fancy ball given in January 
of this year by two residents of Bowling Green, an open- 
ing between their houses having been made for the 
occasion, and the affair was one of great interest in 
society. Two mask and fancy balls given at the Park 



238 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




NIBLO'S BROADWAY STAGE, 1829 

Theatre were so fully and fashionably attended that 
proprietors of other theatres and halls essayed similar 
enterprises; and as the patronage under less stringent 
requirements and observanees, and in different locations, 
became less and less select, these affairs grew offensive 
to propriety, and the Press, in behalf of the citizens, 
asked of the Legislature an Act designed to suppress the 
growing evil. It was enacted that all like assemblies 
should be subject to a fine of one thousand dollars, 
one-half to be paid to the informer of the violation 
of law. 

The Sabbatarians of the period, having obtained a great 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 239 

number of petitions to Congress asking for the arrest of 
the running and delivery of the mails on Sundays, a public 
meeting was called by the merchants, and others, to 
protest against such action by the National Legislature. 

In evidence of the value of real estate at this time, 
the two-story house and lot, No. 17 Broadway, adjoining 
the present Stevens House, 44 feet 9^ inches front, 
and 118 feet in depth, sold at public sale in April for 
nineteen thousand dollars. 

Andrew J. Davis and Ithiel Town & Thompson, archi- 
tects, had offices in the Merchants' Exchange, and they 
were the only parties known exclusively as architects in 
the city. 

1829, James Thompson opened his first confectionery 
at 8 Arcade and also at 32 Liberty Street. In 1832 he 
removed to 176 Broadway, in 1835 to 172 and 235 Broad- 
way, and in 1851 to 359 Broadway, near Franklin Street, 
where, in the character of his patrons and of his enter- 
tainment, he was a worthy follower of Guerin, before 
referred to. 

There were two lines, the Despatch and Union, of 
steamboats and stages combined, running between this 
city and Philadelphia. In the summer season the stages 
ran only to Bordentown or Bristol, and thence steamboats 
were taken to Philadelphia. The opposition between 
them was very warm; so much so that the arrival of 
each line in this city was noticed in the papers of the 
next day; the time usually half or three-quarters past 
three P. M. 

In April, at the Park Theatre, first appeared Charles 
R. Thorne, afterward well known to our public as actor 
and manager. 

April n the Lafayette Theatre was entirely destroyed 
by fire; it was not rebuilt. 

In May Ogden Hoffman, a brilliant and popular orator, 
was appointed District Attorney. On the 25th of the 



240 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

month the Morning Courier and New York Enquirer, 
edited by James Watson Webb and M. M. Noah, appeared. 

The first operating locomotive introduced into this 
country was one which had been procured in England 
by Horatio Allen, and it was put in operation at the West 
Point Foundry Shop in Beach Street, in this month. Its 
power was estimated at nine horses, pressure of steam 
sixty pounds per square inch, and its capacity five miles 
per hour with a train of from sixty to eighty tons. 

James H. Hackett, who had become lessee of the Chat- 
ham* Garden Theatre, renamed it with the ambitious title 
of American Opera House and opened it late in May. 
September i he abandoned the enterprise. 

In June James G. Bennett, an associate editor of the 
late New York Enquirer , issued a proposal for a paper 
to be called the New York State Enquirer. 

June 4 the magazine of the steam frigate Fulton (the 
Flogobombos of Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell), in service at 
the Navy Yard, Brooklyn, as receiving-ship, exploded 
and killed one lieutenant and twenty-three marines, 
wounding seventy-two of the crew, with six missing. I 
was at the time on board of the steamboat Citizen, then in 
process of construction at the head of Water Street, wit- 
nessed the explosion, and visited the wreck immediately 
afterward. The Citizen was the second steamboat Cap- 
tain Vanderbilt owned (the Bellona, built in 1816, a gift 
from William Gibbons, being the first), and the first that 
he built. The first he commanded was the Stoughtenger 
(in derision she was called "The Mouse out of the Moun- 
tain "), seventy-five feet in length, propelled by what 
were termed paddles, but they were strictly palmipedes, in 
order to evade the Fulton claim for side-wheels. This at- 
tempt was a signal failure. The Bellona was fitted with 
like propulsion, but it being condemned as useless, she 
was fitted with side-wheels, and from this arose the liti- 
gation between William Gibbons and Gouverneur Ogden, 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 241 

in which Daniel Webster was engaged, as to the exclu- 
sive right of Fulton and his associate Livingston to 
steam navigation on the waters of the Hudson, a claim 
which the United States Supreme Court declared to be 
invalid. 

August i the fare of foot passengers over the Hoboken 
ferries was reduced from 12^ to 6^ cents. 

Henry Placide of the Park Theatre was without an 
equal as a general actor of this period ; always correct 
and often brilliant ; a universal favorite, whether as Sir 
Peter Teazle, Baron Pompolino, or the schoolboy with an 
apron eating gingerbread, on the stage, or as a genial 
gentleman off it. 

September 5 James G. Bennett announced his edito- 
rial connection with the Morning Courier and New York 
Enquirer, and that he would support strict Republican 
(Democratic) usages and principles. 

This autumn the Park Theatre occupied the field vir- 
tually alone. The Lafayette had been burned, and the. 
Chatham was given over to negro burlettas and the like, 
before vulgar audiences. At Forrest's benefit in Decem- 
ber John A. Stone's " Metamora " was produced, for the 
first time on any stage. Early in the next year was given, 
with success, a new farce by Charles P. Clinch, entitled 
4 'The First of May in New York." 

The firing of buildings at this time and for some weeks 
previous was of so frequent occurrence that citizens were 
called upon to organize a night patrol. 

This was the year of the " burking" excitement, begin- 
ning with reports that several persons had disappeared 
unaccountably. The public mind was already full of the 
atrocious murders committed in Edinburgh by Burke and 
Hare and their accomplices, who decoyed poor people 
and stragglers into secluded places and there murdered 
them, merely to get bodies to sell to the anatomists ; thus 
making, as Sir Walter Scott said, "an end of the Cantabit 



242 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

vacuus* the last prerogative of beggary, which entitled 
him to laugh at the risk of robbery." With Burke's 
deeds fresh in memory, it was easy to connect horrid 
imaginings with the stories, either true or false, of unex- 
plained disappearances in New York, and thus a great 
excitement and wide-spread terror were engendered. 
Women and children never ventured forth alone after 
nightfall, and citizens generally were armed during their 
evening walks, though only with heavy sticks. The delu- 
sion was specially prevalent among the negroes, who 
almost universally kept close within doors during the 
dark hours. It was a considerable time before public feel- 
ing on this subject abated and there was any cessation of 
the wild tales that had agitated the community, though 
having very little if any serious foundation. 

Charles Henry Hall, who had been bookkeeper for 
Thomas H. Smith & Son, the great India merchants in 
South, near Roosevelt Street, occupied from 1823 the 
house and grounds on Broadway and Prince Street em- 
ployed by William Niblo as a garden and theatre in 1829, 
where the Metropolitan Hotel and Theatre lately stood. 
Hall in this year (1829) removed to Harlem, occupying 
extensive grounds near Sixth Avenue and One hundred 
and Twenty-fifth Street, having purchased them of John 
Adriance June 27, 1825. 

* " Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator." JUVENAL, 



CHAPTER XIII 
1830-1831. WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 

1830. TOMPKINS MARKET on Third Avenue, Sixth and 
Seventh streets, was erected; it was rebuilt in 1852. 
Chapel Street, which had been widened from Leonard, 
was widened from Chambers to Barclay Street and 
named College Place. Marketfield, west of Broadway, 
was changed to Battery Place. Pine Street was widened 
at corner of William, and Ann widened to Nassau Street. 

In this year there were fully nine lines of foreign 
sailing packets, viz. : Belfast, Carthagena, Greenock, 
Havana, Havre, Hull, Liverpool, London, and Vera Cruz; 
and of domestic there were four, viz.: Charleston, 
Mobile, New Orleans, and Savannah. 

About this date the wooden picket-fence that had 
inclosed St. John's Park, at Hudson, Laight, Varick, and 
Beach streets, was replaced with iron. This property 
was held in common by the abutting owners, and was 
availed of solely by them, each being in possession of a 
key wherewith to enter it. For many years the neigh- 
borhood was one of the very highly aristocratic portions 
of the city. In 1869 this Park was purchased by Cap- 
tain Vanderbilt in behalf of the New York Central & 
Hudson River R. R., and on it were erected store-houses 
for a freight station and depot. The uptown movement 
had for some time affected the Park vicinity unfavorably, 
and this change by Vanderbilt completed the destruction 
of one of the most agreeable residence quarters known 
in New York. 



244 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

In January the Chatham Garden Theatre was revived 
as Blanchard's Amphitheatre. Under this style very good 
equestrian performances, with rope-dancing and the like, 
were offered. 

May 2, James Watson Webb of the Courier and Enquirer, 
feeling aggrieved at some action of Duff Green, editor of 
a paper in Washington, went there for the purpose of 
resenting the charge against him by punishing Green, 
who, upon the appearance of Webb in a threatening 
manner, drew from his breast a pistol and presented it 
at Webb, who immediately ceased all hostile demonstra- 
tion, and on his return to New York published an article 
over his name, relating the meeting with Green on the 
steps of the Capitol, and that the pistol was of a given 
length with a mahogany stock. The article was held to 
be very injudicious and humiliating to his friends. Ben- 
nett, upon his publication of the Herald in 1838, took 
advantage of it; and for a long while after, when he 
referred to Webb, it was " mahogany stock," "barrel 
and all," etc. 

A new line to Philadelphia was established in the 
spring : running time (by steamboats and coaches), 
twelve hours mirabile dictu ! 

About this period India-rubber overshoes first 
appeared ; the exact date I cannot give. They were 
wholly made of pure rubber, and were very rough and 
unsightly in fashion. Prior to this, provident elderly 
persons wore overshoes of leather, men and boys greased 
their boots or shoes in winter, or suffered with wet feet. 

The popular letters of Major Jack Downing first 
appeared in the New York Advertiser. They assumed to 
be from the pen of an Eastern pedler, who having been 
intimate with General Jackson, the President, they 
jointly occupied a bed, and he addressed him in that 
strain. They were written by Charles Augustus Davis 
of this city. 






WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 245 

In July a trotting course was opened on the ground 
in front of the " Kensington House " of William Niblo, 
on the east side of the Old Boston Road at Seventieth 
Street, which he had opened several years before. 

July 14, a committee of citizens who had previously 
been associated for the purpose of revising the existing 
municipal laws, and submitting a report thereon, with 
such recommendations as they deemed proper, was organ- 
ized; the late Mayor William Paulding being appointed 
chairman. 

September i, Charles Kean made his first appearance 
at the Park Theatre in "Richard III.," before a great 
audience. Booth was playing tragedy at the " Bowery " 
Theatre at this time, and the rival performances were 
very interesting to the public. Kean may be said to 
have laid here the foundation of his great reputation. 
He returned to England in 1833, when his countrymen 
acceded to the American opinion of him. He revisited 
this country in 1839, and again in 1845 with his wife 
(Ellen Tree), when they made a highly successful tour 
through the States, returning to England in the spring 
of 1847. 

September 10, John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New 
York, died at Auburn, N. Y., and on the i6th occurred his 
funeral, a very solemn and impressive sight. The pro- 
cession is said to have contained five thousand persons, 
and the streets were thronged through which it passed. 
The funeral service was performed in Trinity Church. 
Bishop Hobart was a great man and born ruler, and a 
very eminent citizen of New York. He at one time 
became engaged in a polemical discussion with Dr. 
Mason, who was termed the Goliath of Calvinism, and of 
Hobart's defence the lines of Sir Walter Scott in his 
" Lady of the Lake " were aptly quoted: 

" While less expert, though stronger far, 
The Gael maintain'd unequal war." 



246 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Bishop Hobart's monument was placed on the rear wall 
of Trinity Church (not the present structure, but the 
building demolished in 1839), in a shallow recess built to 
receive it. The Bishop died in the decline of the day, 
and, it was said, desired to be raised in his bed to look 
for the last time upon the setting sun. The artist found 
the motive of his work in this incident, and placed his 
subject raised and supported by Faith, and gazing upon 
the effulgence shining from the Sun of Righteousness 
as represented by a halo-crowned cross. This is the 
monument still to be seen in the new Trinity Church. 
It is built into the south wall of the chancel, facing the 
second room of the sacristy on th'at side of the church. m 

October the Rev. B. T. Onderdonk, an assistant min- 
ister of Trinity Parish, was elected Bishop to succeed Dr. 
Hobart. All the previous Bishops of New York, Pro- 
voost, Moore, and Hobart, had been Rectors of Trinity. 

October 22, Master Burke, of Ireland, termed " the 
Young Roscius," made his first appearance at the Park 
Theatre as Young Norval, and Dr. O* Toole in "The Irish 
Tutor." Though under twelve years of age he was 
recognized as a star in Hamlet, a character which he had 
assumed at five years. Besides the parts he played on 
his first night at the Park, he led the orchestra in an 
overture and sang a comic song. Burke was an attrac- 
tion here for several seasons; thereafter he returned to 
Europe, abandoned the drama, and became a violinist, in 
which capacity he was heard here in high-class concerts 
in the fifties. I am told he was a member of Jullien's 
orchestra. 

He was a precocious youth and very clever. I travelled 
in company with him and his father, hence to Boston via 
steamboat, and was much amused with him. 

In this year Thos. S. Hamblin secured the lease of the 
"Bowery" Theatre, where he continued for a long time 
as sole manager. 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 249 

The Book of Mormon of Joseph Smith, alleged by him 
to have been found, was first published in this year. It 
is claimed, however, that the book was written by a 
clergyman at Mormon Hill in 1819; being essentially a 
plagiarism of a romance, which was clandestinely taken 
or copied by a printer, and adopted as the Bible of the 
" Latter Day Saints," as Smith and his proselytes termed 
themselves. 

November 26 witnessed a great civil and military dis- 
play. There had been a meeting of citizens at Tammany 
Hall on November 12, for the purpose of organizing a 
celebration in honor of the dethronement of Charles X. of 
France. Ex-President Monroe presided, and as Evacua- 
tion Day, the 25th inst., was soon to occur, it was 
selected as the day for the celebration. Samuel Swart- 
wout was appointed grand marshal and Samuel L. 
Gouverneur, orator. Philip Hone was chairman of the 
committee of arrangements. The weather on the ap- 
pointed date being adverse to such a display, it was post- 
poned to the following day, which being propitious, the 
affair was most successful, in consequence of the very 
general presence of manufacturers and tradesmen with 
emblems of their employ, cadets from West Point, the 
military and citizens, among whom were conspicuous a 
party of persons who had been actors in some of the 
scenes of the Revolution : Alexander Whaley, of the 
"Boston Tea Party"; Enoch Crosby, the Harvey Birch 
of Cooper's "Spy"; David Williams, one of the captors 
of Major Andre; John Van Arsdale, who hauled down 
the British flag on the Battery on the evacuation of the 
city, and Anthony Glenn, a Naval Officer of the Revolu- 
tion, bearing the flag he hoisted in its place. During the 
progress of the march a section of a steam boiler was 
rivetted, and an arm-chair was manufactured and pre- 
sented to the presiding officer. The route was at least 
two and a half miles long, and when the head of the pro- 



250 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



cession reached Washington Parade Ground, where the 
exercises took place, the rear was not yet in motion. 

There were at this period, in addition to Cato's and 
Burnham's, before referred to, and had been for many 




THE WALTON HOUSE IN LATER YEARS 

years preceding, several public or roadside houses, which 
were daily frequented by the gentlemen who kept horses 
and wagons. These were that of John Snediker on the 
Jamaica Road, celebrated for his asparagus dinners; 
"Nick " Vandyne's, on the hill at Flatbush, where the 
widow dispensed liquors and gossip; it was at Cato's 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 251 

that the horsemen of the day convened, notably Captain 
Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Pearsalls, Richard T. Carman, 
Edward Minturn, John and Gerard Coster, and a host of 
others; Widow Bradshaw's, corner of One Hundred and 
Twenty-fifth Street and Third Avenue, whose chicken 
fricassees were universally acknowledged to be a marvel 
and an "institution"; they were as well known as Mrs. 
Dominy's "chunk apple " and clam pot-pies at Fire Island. 
In addition to the open piazza, in front and the fricassees, 
the place was held to be the termination of a drive, and as 
a result, on a favorable day for driving, the house was well 
attended. I have cited this year as I am ignorant of the 
precise year of her advent, so I give the one in which I first 
visited her and Burnham's at Broadway and Seventy-eighth 
and Seventy-ninth streets. As several of our young men, 
residing in the lower part of the city, stabled in Brooklyn, 
it was very convenient for them to drive to Jamaica 
and Flatbush. Coney Island was then little else than a 
place where parties sometimes went to bathe and then eat 
roast clams at Cropsey & Woglum's or Wyckoff's on the 
beach. 

In an earlier chapter I have adverted to the primitive 
methods employed in striking a light. About this period, 
however, there was introduced a brimstone match, which 
was so universally used that children sold them in the 
streets, with as much persistency of application as they 
now practise in vending newspapers. These matches 
were made of narrow pine-wood shavings, planed off in a 
manner so as to form a spiral, cut in lengths of about five 
inches, and their ends dipped in melted sulphur. 

Mrs. Vernon, nee Fisher, appeared for the first time at 
the Park Theatre, in December. In her line of acting 
she was unsurpassed, correct in her diction and imper- 
sonation. A great number of New Yorkers will remem- 
ber her as one of the chief ornaments of Wallack's 
admirable stock company in days comparatively modern.' 



2 5 2 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



In or about the year 1884 she appeared at the Star 
Theatre on some special occasion, and, as it occurred, 
there were several of the audience who had witnessed 
and enjoyed her performances in long-previous years, and 
upon her entrance on the stage, one of the number rising 

to applaud, the rest 
joined, and rarely, if 
ever, did I witness a 
more enthusiastic re- 
ception. 

The Manhattan Gas 
Light Company was 
incorporated with a 
capital of five hundred 
thousand dollars to 
supply the upper part 
of the island. 
Thomas M. Jackson, 




TRINITY CHURCH OF 1788. TAKEN DOWN IN 1839 






WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 253 

colored, opened in this year an oyster-cellar and restau- 
rant at 47 Howard Street, west of Broadway ; it was a 
favorite and very popular resort, and deservedly so, as 
he kept good articles and was very civil and attentive to 
his customers. He also was popular as a caterer for 
public and private festivities. 

The first locomotive in this country, before referred 
to, was forwarded from this city and operated on a road 
in South Carolina. 

The Christian Intelligencer was established in this year 
as the newspaper of the Dutch Reformed Church. 

In this year, and for several years after, the formation 
and operation of boat clubs became very popular with our 
young men ; our boat-builders were taxed to fill the de- 
mands for long, narrow, and highly finished boats, usually 
for eight oars ; the " Barge," the property of a club of 
young men of our extreme ton, was double-banked and 
eight-oared. Annually there was a regatta held under 
the direction of representatives of the different clubs, 
the course around stake-boats, terminating off the 
Battery. 

The absence of ferry-boats, barges, tows, and tow-boats, 
compared with those of a later day, rendered rowing 
in the evening safely practicable, and New Brighton, 
Thatched House at Paulus Hook, Hoboken, Elysian 
Fields, Bull's Ferry, and Fort Lee were visited. 

Such clubs were not confined to this city, as the mania 
extended to Brooklyn and all our river towns, but in a few 
years it diminished, and the clubs became reduced in 
numbers, and eventually were broken up. 

The will of Captain Randall (Robert R.), having been 
disputed and in litigation for many years, was in the 
preceding year decided by the United States Supreme 
Court in its favor, and the trustees, under authority of an 
Act of our Legislature, purchased property on Staten 
Island which it now occupies, 



254 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



January 10, Lombardy was changed to Monroe Street; 
and Harman, named after Harmanus Rutgers, was 
widened on the east side, and named East Broadway. 

Late in January "Cinderella" was produced at the 




SIR PETER WARREN'S HOUSE, 
GREENWICH VILLAGE 



Park Theatre, for the first time. It had remarkable 
success, being given forty-seven times during the 
season. 

In March, at 'the " Bowery" Theatre, George Jones, 
later known as the Count Joannes, first appeared on the 
stage, as the Prince of Wales in King Henry IV. Jones 
had some dramatic capacity, though less than he supposed. 
He played Hamlet, late in 1836, at the National Theatre, 
and appeared often until his aberration of mind became 
too marked. 

March n, the Chatham Garden and Theatre, passing 
from the control of Blanchard, was opened as a theatre. 
Here Danforth Marble made his first appearance on any 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 255 

stage, April n. He became famous here and in England 
for Yankee and other outre 1 parts long before his death 
in 1849. 

In this year the first street railway in the world, the 
New York and Harlem, was incorporated with a capital 
of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Upon the 
notice of the commissioners to receive bids for shares 
of the stock, there was a furor among our citizens 
to obtain them, to be likened only to that of the 
" South Sea Bubble" or Law's "Mississippi Scheme" 
of the last century. So great and general was the rush 
that an amount far in excess of the capital stock was 
subscribed. 

The Messrs. Robert L. and John C. Stevens opened 
their grounds above Castle Point, erected a house of 
entertainment there, and named the place the Elysian 
Fields. To celebrate the affair a large party of eminent 
persons and well-known citizens was conveyed to the spot 
on the ferry-boat Newark, and a banquet was given in 
the open air on the lawn. 

The University of New York was incorporated in this 
year, the following officers being elected : James M. 
Matthews, D. D., Chancellor; Albert Gallatin, President 
of the Council; Morgan Lewis, Vice-President; John 
Delafield, Secretary; Samuel Ward, Treasurer. 

March 18 the Bachelors' Fancy Ball, which had been 
the subject of great interest in the fashionable circle, 
took place at the City Hotel. In brilliancy and general 
success it met all expectation. 

April 20, William C. Bryant, editor of the Evening Post, 
and William L. Stone, of the Commercial Advertiser, met 
in Broadway near Park Place, and a personal rencontre 
occurred, Bryant striking Stone with a cowhide, where- 
upon they closed and were parted by the bystanders. 
Stone prevailed, to the extent of carrying off the whip 
with which he had been attacked. 



256 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



May 15, the Providence steamboats Washington and 
Chancellor Livingston collided in the morning in the East 
River off Corlear's Hook (Jackson Street), and the former 
was sunk ; her boilers of copper broke loose from the hull 
and were lost. 

June 7, the boiler of the steamer General Jackson, while 
she was lying at Grassy Point on the North River, burst, 
and several persons were killed. She was owned by Cap- 
tain Cornelius Vanderbilt, later designated Commodore, 




REMSEN HOUSE, CHERRY, NEAR CLINTON STREET 

and commanded by his brother Jacob. In consequence 
of the charge of alleged indifference to the sufferers, the 
latter was so severely censured by the press that "Com- 
modore" Vanderbilt, even so late as 1853, in a conversa- 
tion with me, referred to what he averred was a great 
injustice to his brother. 

In July there were three extensive conflagrations of 
buildings, viz. : on the 2d, the block bounded by Fourth, 
Mercer, Amity, and Greene streets ; on the 4th, forty 
houses and stores in Varick, Charleton, and Vandam 
streets ; and on the i8th, in Eldridge Street, nineteen 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 257 

houses. In the last-named fire three persons were 
burned. 

On the Fourth of July Ex-President James Monroe 
died in the house of his son-in-law, Samuel L. Gouver- 
neur, in this city. Of four ex-Presidents who then had 
died, Mr. Monroe was the third to depart on the national 
anniversary, a coincidence heightened in effect by the 
simultaneous deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jeffer- 
son on July 4, 1826. 

The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad began operations 
in this year, exciting astonishment and fear by attaining 
a speed of twenty miles an hour. 

The river route\ hence to Peekskill, having for many 
years been run by Captain Vanderbilt, and the price of 
passage being such as the citizens of Putnam and West- 
chester counties, headed by Daniel Drew and James 
Smith, held to be exorbitant, a number of them asso- 
ciated in a company and built a steamer which forced 
Vanderbilt to reduce his fare to twelve and one-half cents. 
In 1832, however, Drew and Smith sold out to Vander- 
bilt without the knowledge or consent of their associates. 
Subsequently Vanderbilt, having a difficulty with one of 
the directors of the Hudson River Association hence to 
Albany, placed two boats on the route, and at the end 
of two years forced them to a purchase of his boats, he 
covenanting a cessation of all interest in any boat on the 
route for a period of ten years. 

This leaving the route open to opposition, Drew pur- 
chased two boats and ran them for one year, when the 
association joined with him, and gave his boats their pro- 
portion of the earnings of the line. He then put a boat 
on the route under the alleged ownership and interest of 
another person, the captain's brother. The running of 
this boat was so injurious to the association that it pro- 
posed to buy her off, and named the price it was willing 
to give, and directed Drew, he being one of its directors, 
9 



258 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



to see the brother and ascertain if he would accept the 
sum. Whereupon Drew left, and having walked around 
the block, as it was afterward asserted, he returned and 
stated he had seen the brother and he would not accept, 
unless the price was raised to eight thousand dollars. 
After some discussion it was decided to give it, where- 
upon Drew again 
walked around 
the block, and, 
returning, re- 
ported he had 
seen the brother 
and that he had 
accepted. 

In this year 
the City Bank 
was entered with 
false keys by Ed- 
ward Smith and Rob- 
ert James Murray, 
and two hundred and 
forty thousand dollars 
were stolen. Smith 
was arrested soon 
after and the greater 
part of the money 
recovered. 

In this year also there arrived from Smyrna some 
Arabian horses three in number, I think under the care 
of Charles Rhind, our consul, being a present from the 
Sublime Porte to President Jackson; but as he was con- 
stitutionally precluded from the acceptance of presents 
from any potentate, they were sold, and brought five 
hundred dollars each. 

Henry Eckford, who had designed the United States 
ship of the line Ohio, and had built a vessel of war for the 




APTHORPE MANSION, BLOOMING- 
DALE ROAD 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 259 

Turkish government, was induced by that government to 
enter its service. Soon after the arrival of Mr. Eckford 
in Turkey the Sultan remarked: "The United States 
must be a great country when it can spare such men as 
you." He took with him Foster Rhodes, afterward 
well known, not only as an eminent designer of vessels, 
but one whose attainments in naval architecture were of 
a very high order. Yet, upon his return being appointed 
a naval constructor in our navy, George Bancroft, the 
Secretary of the Navy, in one of his erratic impulses 
detached him from a yard at the North, where vessels 
were being built, and detailed him to the navy yard at 
Pensacola, Fla., where there was neither the material nor 
plant for the construction of even a launch. 

The summer of 1831 witnessed the success at the Chat- 
ham Garden Theatre of George Handel Hill ("Yankee 
Hill"), who, in his Yankee delineations, made for himself 
a wide reputation. He was at the Park Theatre in 1832, 
and travelled extensively in this country afterward; 
then in 1838 and 1833 he was highly successful in London, 
and even in Paris. He died in 1849. 

In September, first appeared Josephine Clifton, a woman 
of extremely handsome person, who became a great 
favorite here and in London (in 1835). In 1837 she was 
a member of the Park Company. She died ten years 
later. A woman of large and increasing proportions, 
she became at last too indolent to study; with greater 
diligence and perhaps more mind, she could have accom- 
plished anything. 

Late in September, Forrest was first seen in "The 
Gladiators," the well-known play written for him by Dr. 
Bird of Philadelphia. 

In the death on September 7 of Samuel L. Mitchell, 
M. D., LL. D., New York lost one of her foremost 
citizens. A professor in Columbia College and in the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, he was an excep- 



260 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

tionally zealous and laborious savant; the scope and ver- 
satility of his studies and attainments were so well known 
that he was the standard of reference in all physical 
investigations and questions. Besides this, he had 
eminent public spirit and mingled much in affairs, 
becoming member of the Legislature of the State, mem- 
ber of Congress, and Senator. The ready manner in 
which he responded to all calls upon his consideration, 
combined with an unusual ingenuousness of action, caused 
him to be the butt of many inconsiderate and unworthy 
questions. He was once asked why black sheep ate less 
than white ones, and after some hesitation quietly replied: 
"I recognize no other reason than there are less of 
them." 

Pine Street was again widened, between Nassau and 
Pearl streets. 

A Mr. Anderson, an English actor, on his arrival here 
was charged by a fellow-passenger, an American, with 
having made some very unjust and ill-natured remarks 
during the passage regarding Americans. Upon the an- 
nouncement of his engagement at the Park Theatre the 
charges were publicly reported, and as a result, the 
house on the evening of his appearance, October 13, was 
filled with some of our indignant citizens who had indi- 
vidually assembled, without any previous association, 
and upon the entrance of Anderson on the stage he was 
greeted with hisses, missiles, etc., so persistently main- 
tained that the performance was arrested. Nevertheless, 
Anderson was announced for the evening of October 15, 
in the same part (Henry Bertram, in the opera "Guy 
Mannering.") On this occasion the theatre was filled to 
overflowing with men only, who were determined to pre- 
vent Anderson's performance. When it was attempted 
to read his apology, a riot broke out which was not the 
least diminished by announcement that the actor's engage- 
ment had been cancelled and that the play would be 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 



26l 



changed. As usual in such cases, the riot spread far be- 
yond the designs of its originators and became the 
causeless, silly, or malicious outbreak of evil-disposed 
persons. It continued during the next day (Sunday), 
and in the evening of that day an attack was made on 
the theatre, the doors and windows being battered in. 
"Old Hays" and his men after a time restored com- 
parative order, and on Monday the mob was appeased 
by sight of the front of the theatre covered with Ameri- 
can flags, patriotic transparencies, etc., and no further 
violence occurred. 

October 27, Chancellor Walworth laid the corner-stone 
of the Sailors' Snug Harbor on Staten Island, under the 
bequest of Captain Robert Richard Randall. 

November, I shot a ruffed grouse (vulgo partridge) at 
Breakneck Hill on the estate of Madame Jumel, One 
Hundred and Forty-fourth Street and Ninth Avenue, and 
it was believed by sportsmen to be the last one to suffer 
a like fate on the Island. 

At about Eightieth Street, between the Boulevard and 
Ninth Avenue, a Mr. Foley rented an open place and 
furnished pigeons for trap-shooting; and at about Eighty- 




HAMILTON HOUSE 



262 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

eighth Street and the river, a Mr. Batterson, proprietor 
of a hotel formerly a country seat, opened a pigeon ground 
for trap-shooting. Subsequently, Burnham opened a 
ground at Seventy-ninth Street and Eleventh Avenue for 
a like purpose. 

November, the Richmond Hill Theatre was opened 
with the "Road to Ruin," a favorite opening play of 
that epoch, and not always inappropriate. The address 
for the occasion was written by Halleck. In the next 
year, late in May, the house was reopened with John 
Barnes of the Park as lessee; the address for the re-open- 
ing being from the pen of Charles P. Clinch. The little 
theatre enjoyed liberal favor from the public during the 
summer, until the cholera epidemic -of 1832 ended this 
with all other forms of diversion. 

December 25, the Havre packet arrived, being the 
first of ten Liverpool and Havre packets due; her 
latest date was the 23d of October, or fifty-nine 
days old. 

December 26, the East River was closed (jammed) by 
ice so that several hundred persons crossed on foot be- 
tween New York and Brooklyn. 

The estate of Bishop Moore, which was part of that 
of Captain Thomas Clarke, and known as Chelsea, was 
inherited by his son Clement C., before mentioned 
herein, who occupied the house and grounds bounded 
by Nineteenth and Twenty-fourth streets, Ninth Ave- 
nue and the river (see page 191). In this year he com- 
menced opening streets through the property. To the 
General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church he had given the entire plot on Ninth 
Avenue between Twentieth and Twenty-first streets and 
the river. 

Wells & Patterson opened at No. 277 Broadway, next 
to the corner of Chambers Street, a store for the furnish- 
ing and sale of men's hosiery, gloves, shirts, etc., etc., a 






WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 



263 



man-millinery, as it was then 'termed and this was for 
several years the only store of the kind, as well as the 
first that was opened in this city. 

The Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum was established 
in this year. 

The population of the city in this year was ascertained 
to be 202,589. 




M'GOWAN'S PASS, 1820 



CHAPTER XIV 

WALTER BOWNE, 1832 AND 1833, AND GIDEON LEE, 1833, 

MAYORS 

1832. IN this year the following streets and places were 
widened, viz. : Ann, between Nassau and William; Cedar, 
between William and Pearl; Exchange Place at William; 
Spruce, between Nassau and Gold; William, on east side, 
from Wall to Pine; Hanover at Exchange Place; and 
Cross, Anthony, and Little Water streets. Sixth Street 
was changed to Waverly Place. Jefferson Market, at 
intersection of Sixth Avenue and Greenwich Lane, was 
opened. There was annexed to it a fire-alarm bell tower 
and a steam-pump, which drew and forced water through 
a main to the elevated cistern or reservoir, as it was 
termed, in East Thirteenth Street near Broadway. 

Union Square was enlarged, and as the required area 
invaded the property of the owners abutting in Broadway 
and Seventeenth Street and the Bowery (now Fourth Ave- 
nue), many of them protested against the measure with 
the usual vehemence and short-sightedness of people re- 
garding their view of their own interests in similar cases. 

I was present on an occasion when an old and well- 
known sailor captain protested against the enlargement, 
as he was an old man and had settled down for life and 
did not wish to be disturbed. He said that it would be 
hard to lose his property that is, to have the city take 
about five per cent, of it and make the balance in a few 
years worth ten times the cost of the whole, which it did. 

The Hall of Records, in the Park, originally built for 
a jail (see page 26), which in 1830 had been ordered to 









WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 265 

be converted for the accommodation of several of the 
city departments, was so far finished in this year that 
it was used as a cholera hospital, and, subsequently, 
by the Register, Comptroller, Street Commissioner, and 
Surrogate. 

Some prices for real estate, obtained at sales by public 
auction during this winter, are here noted : The corner 
of Wall and Broad streets, 30 feet on Wall Street by 
16 feet 8 inches on Broad, $17,750; south-west corner 
of Broadway and Park Place, about 25 by 122, $37,000. 

February 23 ground was broken for construction of the 
New York and Harlem Railroad, and in the course of 
the year this company ran its first car from Prince to 
Fourteenth Street. These cars were like stage-coaches, 
hung on leather, with several compartments and side 
doors, the driver sitting above like a coachman, and 
putting on the brake with his feet. My readers should 
remember that at this time railways on important lines, 
as from Schenectady to Saratoga and the short cut across 
the Delaware-Maryland peninsula, on the route to Wash- 
ington, were operated by horse-power. 

Mordecai M. Noah, who had edited and published The 
Advocate from 1813, then at 73 Pine Street, commenced 
the publication in 1825 of the National Advocate, at 45 
Wall Street, but, being enjoined by Henry Eckford and 
others, he changed the title to Noah's National Advocate ; 
being again enjoined, he changed it to the New York 
Enquirer, at 10 William Street, and, in 1829, James 
Watson Webb purchased it, merged it with the Morning 
Courier published in 1827, and established the New York 
Courier and Enquirer at 16 Merchants' Exchange, with 
M. M. Noah, James Lawson, James Gordon Bennett, 
Prosper M. Wetmore, and James G. Brooks as editors. 
Later Bennett was transferred to Washington as" re- 
porter of Congressional proceedings. 

May 4 the outer walls of the stores of Phelps & Peck 



266 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




BROADWAY AND MURRAY STREET, 1820 

in Gold Street, corner of Fulton, at about 6 p. M., fell 
out, and eight persons, including the bookkeeper, were 
killed and five injured. 

May 21 Washington Irving arrived in New York, after 
an absence of seventeen years in foreign parts, and on 
May 30 a public dinner was given to him at the City 
Hotel, which was attended by a very large and distin- 
guished company. 

June 8 a public meeting of merchants was held to 
endorse an appeal to Congress to modify the tariff laws; 
but, in consequence of the presence and violent action 
of the manufacturers and others opposed to any modifi- 
cation, the assemblage was dispersed. 

This was " cholera year." During the spring the 






WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 267 

public were alarmed by reported prevalence of the dis- 
ease in Europe. June 15, from Albany via the day-boat, 
we learned of the existence of the dreaded cholera in 
Quebec, brought across the Atlantic by immigrants, 
and appearing in a virulent form. The Common Council 
appointed two physicians, Drs. Rhinelander and DeKay, 
to proceed forthwith to Quebec and report their views 
as to the means to be adopted to alleviate the scourge 
so soon as it appeared here. They proceeded and soon 
returned, and among their remedial preventive recom- 
mendations, one cited brandy and water and the other 
port-wine. It was for a long while a standard and oft- 
recurring joke with those who availed themselves, in the 
manner of such refreshment, of every opportunity that 
was presented to repel the dreaded cholera, announcing 
their preference for "Dr. Rhinelander" (brandy) or 
" Dr. DeKay" (port-wine). 

Mayor Bowne issued a proclamation forbidding the 
arrival here of all conveyances with persons afflicted with 
cholera. In the churches prayers were offered; but on 
June 26 the cholera appeared in New York. It was in 
virulent form. The Board of Health was required by 
duty to visit the Staten Island quarantine, and within 
a fortnight from the time of their visit all of them save 
one (Alderman Hall) were dead of the epidemic. A 
coroner's inquest was held in the case of a man found 
dead in the street from cholera. This was late in the 
week, and by the next Monday nine of the twenty per- 
sons concerned in the inquest were dead. A special 
medical council was appointed, and five large public 
hospitals were organized, besides establishing a special 
station in each ward. 

Nevertheless, the city manifested a degree of calmness 
and self-control, in actual presence of the disorder, that 
was somewhat remarkable. Business proceeded without 
noteworthy interruptions, and the streets wore their 



268 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

usual animated aspect. The situation was serious and 
grave even awful but there was no wild terror. Yet 
the disease raged until October 31, and caused 3515 
deaths. 

In the middle of July the famous Ravels appeared first 
in America at the Park Theatre, and instantly gained 
a popularity almost unrivalled in our amusements, which 
lasted for more than thirty years. After being at the Park 
and the " Bowery," they were seen at Niblo's for many 
successive seasons. Gabriel Ravel's farewell benefit was 
at Palmo's Opera House, late in 1847, and soon after the 
principal members of the troupe went abroad, but, at the 
opening of Niblo's new theatre, in 1849, several of them 
appeared, and in 1851 Gabriel himself returned with 
undiminished powers. In 1857-58 they were at Niblo's 
for three hundred nights. The first engagement of them 
at the Park, in this year of 1832, lasted but a fortnight, 
being negatived by the cholera. 

September 3 arrived Charles Kemble and his daughter, 
Frances Anne, so long and well known in this country as 
Fanny Kemble Butler. On September 17 and 18 they 
made their first appearances at the Park Theatre, Kemble 
on the first evening in Hamlet, his daughter on the i8th 
as Bianco, in Milman's "Fazio." The receipts for the 
first ten nights of the Ketnbles' performances averaged 
twelve hundred dollars, and the total for the engagement 
of sixty nights was fifty-six thousand dollars. They 
attracted great attention, not only at the theatre, but in 
society also, for they were received into some of the 
best houses. Miss Kemble, in particular, was veritably 
triumphant. The publication of her journal, however, in 
1835, caused a considerable revulsion of feeling among 
some of those who had shown her the greatest courtesy, 
for she had set down therein, with great frankness, her 
opinions of the dress, manners, and habits of her hosts 
the opinions of a young girl in a new country, not 






WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 269 

intrinsically valuable and certainly ill-advised as to pub- 
lication. 

The passage of a steamboat hence to Providence hav- 
ing been made in fourteen hours and twenty-nine minutes, 
it was heralded as an exceptional performance. 

October 31. A notable event was the consecration 
of four bishops (Hopkins, Smith, Mcllvaine, and Doane) 
in St. Paul's Chapel. The occasion excited great inter- 
est; it is now, 1895, commemorated on one of the bronze 
doors (the South) of Trinity Church. 

Early in November T. D. Rice made his Ethiopian 
de"but in his character of Jim Croiu, which became famous. 
Negro delineations had been given before (as at the 
Chatham Garden), but Rice may be regarded as in some 
degree the founder. 

In December the Camden and Amboy Railroad was 
opened complete (steamboat to South Amboy and thence 
by rail), and the time was exultingly announced as five 
and a half hours from New York to Philadelphia. 

The writer suggested to his former employer, James 
P. Allaire, the steam-engine manufacturer, that, as work 
was light, it would be well to keep all his good men and 
build a tugboat, which he might employ profitably if 
he could not sell her. To which he replied: "Why, 
Charles, there are three now ! " This was considered 
conclusive; three boats, how could they be supported ? 
At the present time (1895) there are 592 documented at 
this port, besides an unknown number from outside our 
limits. 

Mr. Whitlock established a third line of packets hence 
to Havre. The first street paved in Harlem was One 
Hundred and Twenty-ninth Street in this year, paved 
and flagged, from Third to Eighth Avenue. There were 
no other paved streets in New York north of Clinton 
Place and Greenwich Avenue at this time. 

Alexander Welsh, or "Sandie," as he was universally 



270 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

called, opened a restaurant under the Museum, at the 
corner of Broadway and Ann Street, and named it the 
Terrapin Lunch. He was very popular, and his Lunch 
became one of the favorite resorts of the period. His 
motto was, Dum vivimus vivamus. He was a worthy 
competitor of Windust. 

There were exhibited in the Rotunda, Chambers Street, 
pictures of Adam and Eve, and as they were represented 
in a semi-nude condition, and the public had not been 
e'ducated up to the point of considering such representa- 
tion as within the requirements of propriety, much cen- 
sure was lavished upon the exhibition, and as a result it 
was largely attended, and finally accepted by some, and 
submitted to by others as permissible. 

Charles Cox, a tailor from London at 114 William 
Street, subsequently Nassau, then at 5 Wall and 
finally Astor House, as Cox & Knock, had published an 
advertisement of an exceptionally absurd character, set- 
ting forth his lachrymose condition after his arrival here, 
and his now jubilant position. The precise language I 
have forgotten, but it was of such an unusual form that an 
English writer who was travelling here reproduced it on 
his return, in his travels in America, and vauntingly 
cited it as an illustration of the peculiar advertisements 
of Yankee tradesmen. 

William Harrington, a butcher of Central Market, with- 
out any training, fought and signally defeated an English 
pugilist near Philadelphia. The interest shown in this 
fight among the butchers and Bowery Boys, of which num- 
ber " Bill " Harrington had been an acknowledged repre- 
sentative and leader, was very great, and when the result 
of it became known here, flags were hoisted on the 
markets and slaughter-houses. 

The Bowery Boy of that period was so distinctive a 
class in dress and conversation, that a description of him 
is well worthy of notice. He was not an idler and corner 



WALTER BOWNE, MAYOR 271 

lounger, but mostly an apprentice, generally to a butcher, 
and he " ran with a machine." He was but little seen in 
the day, being engaged at his employment ; but in the even- 
ings, other than Saturdays (when the markets remained 
open all day and evening), and on Sundays and holidays, he 
appeared in propria persona, a very different character; his 
dress, a high beaver hat, with the nap divided and brushed 
in opposite directions, the hair on the back of his head 
clipped close, while in front the temple locks were curled 
and greased (hence, the well-known term of " soap locks " 
to the wearer of them), a smooth face, a gaudy silk neck- 
cloth, black frock-coat, full pantaloons, turned up at the 
bottom over heavy boots designed for service in slaughter- 
houses and at fires; and when thus equipped, with his girl 
hanging on his arm, it would have been very injudicious to 
offer him any obstruction or to utter an offensive remark. 

When he advised one of his confreres to attack and 
beat a person, or defend himself, he would exclaim " Lam 
him " (Sam, Jim, or Jake, as the name might be). The 
orthography I am not responsible for, as, in the absence 
of any vocabulary, I give the word phonographically; and 
strange as the expression may seem, there is authority 
for it, as Walter Scott, in his " Peveril of the Peak," uses 
it thus: "Lambe them, lads; lambe them!"* 

Colloquially the Bowery Boy was referred to as Maze, 
and his "best girl " as Lize. 

1833. January i appeared the first number of the 
Knickerbocker Magazine, under the editorial control of 
Charles F. Hoffman, a periodical which continued to hold 
the field, mainly under the late Lewis Gaylord Clark, until 
a date beyond the scope of these reminiscences. The 
New York Evangelist was founded in this year. 

In this year the New York and Harlem Railroad ex- 
tended its route to Murray Hill. 

* A cant phrase of the time derived from the fate of Dr. Lambe, an 
astrologer and quack, who was knocked on the head in Charles I.'s time. 



272 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



Provost Street, which ran from Chapel Street to the 
river, was changed to Franklin Street. Asylum Street, 
which had been opened in 
1832, to Cornelia, from Chris- 
topher, was opened from 
Sixth to Eighth Avenue to 




" NORTH " DUTCH CHURCH, CORNER OF FULTON AND WILLIAM STREETS 

Fourth Street; and in November, North Street, which 
was east of the Bowery, was changed to Houston Street; 
Pine, from Broadway to William, was widened ; Wooster 



GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 273 

was extended to Fourteenth Street, and Barrow from 
Asylum Street to Sixth Avenue. 

Jacob S. Platt purchased sufficient property between 
Gold and Pearl streets tQ open a street and erect stores 
fronting thereon. Hence arose the name Platt Street. 

It was about this year that the first block, or Belgian, 
pavement was laid in a street of this city or country. 
The location, selected in view of the heavy travel over 
it, was in the Bowery between Bayard and Walker 
(Pump) streets. The streets previous to this, and for 
many years after, were paved with what are professionally 
known as cobblestones; and it was not until about this 
year, with the exception of the instance cited, that block 
stones were introduced, and then but sparingly; Broad- 
way being first paved with Russ block, which ultimately 
proved a failure and was removed for Belgian. 

The Greenwich Savings Bank was opened at 12 Carmine 
Street. 

In April a subscription was completed for building the 
Marine Pavilion at Rockaway, as an elegant place of 
summer resort. Some seventy gentlemen subscribed five 
hundred dollars each; the list including such names as 
Prime, Ray, King, Hone, Cruger, Rowland, Suffern, Cos- 
ter, Hoyt, Schermerhorn, Crosby, Whitney, Newbold, 
Gihon, Parish, Thorne, Grinnell, Suydam, Kissam, Heck- 
scher, Cutting, Livingston, Stuyvesant, etc., but notwith- 
standing these names, and the expectations of success, 
this resort, though established according to the plan and 
being a delightful place, never prospered. New Yorkers 
of fashion, including most of the subscribers, preferred 
to "go farther and fare worse." 

The City Hotel was much damaged by fire. 

April 30 the stables of Kipp & Brown, proprietors of 
a line of stages to Wall Street, in Hudson Street, corner 
of Hammond, were burned, and a great number of horses 
and of new stages were destroyed. 



274 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

June 3 died Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury 
under Washington, afterward a merchant of New York, 
and President, first of the Merchants' Bank, then of the 
Bank of America. After declining business he removed 
to Connecticut, of which State he was some time Governor, 
and then returned to New York. 

June 29 died Colonel Nicholas Fish, much regretted, 
an officer of distinction in the Revolutionary War, and a 
highly esteemed citizen. 

In the summer President Jackson visited the city at the 
invitation of the Common Council. He was received by 
it at Amboy, and escorted to the city in the steamboat 
North America, to Castle Garden. The number of people 
on the bridge was so great that one span of it fell, and 
many people were thrown into the water. I was at the 
point of rupture, and went with the bridge, but escaped 
uninjured. 

July 3 Aaron Burr married the widow of Stephen 
Jumel, and subsequently occupied her fine old house (the 
Roger Morris home, built in 1758) that still stands 
untouched on the height overlooking Harlem River, just 
at the edge of the Croton Aqueduct, at about One Hun- 
dred and Sixty-first Street (see page 278). 

August i Sailors' Snug Harbor, on Staten Island, was 
opened, the corner-stone having been laid in October, 1831. 

At the end of August Tyrone Power made his first 
appearance in America, at the Park Theatre. Power 
certainly eclipsed all actors, earlier or later, as a delinea- 
tor of Irish characters. He was here again in 1836 
and 1839, an d sailed for England on March 21, 1841, 
in the ill-fated President, which never was heard of 
afterward. 

September 3 rose The Sun, edited by Benjamin H. Day, 
the first one-cent paper ever published, and sold by the 
first newsboy. It did not give editorials or reports of 
stock sales. 



GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 275 

In January, Horace Greeley, in partnership with H. D. 
Shephard and Francis V. Story, had published and issued 
a daily paper, The Morning Post, price one cent, which 
lingered and survived for a period of three weeks. 

September 4 a deep impression was made upon our 
public by the first performances at the Park of Mr. and 
Mrs. Joseph Wood, who began a season of English opera. 
"Cinderella" was given on the opening night. Mr. 
Wood was a competent performer, and his wife had, 
added to great native talent, the power derived from long 
study, experience, and native beauty. They were here 
again in 1835-36, and 1840-41. During the second visit 
they were ill-affected by an unhappy stage difficulty, 
which, however, was forgotten on their later appearance. 

October i lotteries in the State were abolished by an 
Act of the Legislature. 

In this year Stephen Holt built the hotel on Fulton, 
corner of Pearl and Water streets, to which he gave his 
name (the house now called the United States) ; but hav- 
ing changed the entire order of his business, that is, from 
being the proprietor of a cheap restaurant to the require- 
ments and prices of other hotels, he erred; and later 
the hotel passed out of his possession. He had been 
proprietor of a public-house which was burned out in 1814, 
and failed. Obtaining credit then for another house, 
corner of Water and Fulton streets, he some years after 
surprised the public by furnishing what were termed his 
shilling (12.5 cents) plates, consisting of best Fulton 
Market beef, or poultry, and potatoes. It was such an 
innovation upon existing practice and price, that, becom- 
ing popular, he reaped sufficient profits to pay off his debts, 
and commence the construction of the hotel that bore his 
name. The bed-coverings or quilts for the entire house 
were covered with " patch-work" made by Mrs. Holt. 

In 1827 an Englishwoman, Mrs. Frances Trollope, 
arrived here, proceeded to Cincinnati, and essayed a busi- 



276 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

ness there, which proved to be unprofitable. Disap- 
pointed and vexed, she published in 1832 her "Domestic 
Life of the Americans"; a book in which she expressed 
herself in voluble vituperation of the common customs 
and manners of the residents of a town, which at that 
period was, alike to all newly occupied Western settle- 
ments, rude in converse and regardless of appearances. 
She wholly ignored the grandeur of the country and its 
evidences of a brilliant future, and when launched upon 
the sea of censure and ridicule she did not confine her- 
self to the West, but declared not only our standard ob- 
servances and moral character to be inferior to those of 
England, but, in religious propriety, to be even inferior 
to that of France. In illustration of our customs and 
manners she aired her spleen in setting forth the inex- 
plicable indecency, when sitting in a chair, of putting our 
feet on a table; wearing our hats within doors, of offen- 
sive expectoration and ejecting saliva or tobacco juice 
without heed of the distance. Dickens, I think, put the 
observed limit at ten paces. 

Now, although her criticisms and assertions were en- 
gendered in disappointment, national animosity, and re- 
venge, they were essentially true, and however chagrined 
we were, we acknowledged them as such by essaying 
to correct our manners; as was afterward universally 
demonstrated whenever one in public fell within the range 
of her criticisms, as the cry of " Trollope ! Trollope I 
Trollope ! " was immediately vociferated. In illustration 
of the extent to which such action was practised: at the 
Park Theatre on an evening when the house was excep- 
tionally full, one of a party occupying a front seat in the 
centre of the auditorium, soon after the close of the first 
act, leisurely and inconsiderately turned his back to the 
stage and rested himself on the front enclosure of the 
box, whereupon "Trollope! Trollope! Trollope!" was 
shouted from several quarters, in which I joined; but so 



GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 277 

soon as it was apparent that the party was disposed to 
ignore the rebuke, the pit arose, some occupants of the 
boxes followed, and the performance was arrested. When 
the person, in sporting phrase, finally "threw up the 
sponge," the house gave three cheers, not in compliment 
to him who had caused the censure, but to itself for its 
success; and such for many years was the course in public 
on all similar occasions of evident impropriety or neglect 
of the accepted observances of society. So much for 
Mrs. Trollope's book, much talked of at the time. It 
gave pleasure to the English, but profit to us, however 
much we may have been annoyed by it at first. Mrs. 
Trollope was mother of two men of letters, Thomas 
Adolphus, and his better known brother Anthony, the 
novelist. Her " Domestic Life " has just been reprinted 
here, and may be commended to my readers as an inter- 
esting study for them. 

October 3. A meeting in favor of immediate abolition 
of slavery was called to be held in Clinton Hall (Beek- 
man Street). A crowd assembled at the place to oppose 
it. Thereupon the permission that had been given to 
use the hall was withdrawn, and the crowd adjourned to 
Tammany Hall and passed resolutions disapproving the 
object of the proposed meeting. 

October 9. The boiler of the steamboat New England, 
hence to Hartford, burst; fifteen persons being killed and 
twenty-six scalded and wounded. 

James Fenimore Cooper arrived in New York on 
November 5, after long residence abroad. 

An association known as the New York Opera Com- 
pany, through the efforts of Lorenzo Da Ponte, constructed 
a theatre on the corner of Church and Leonard streets, 
the first structure in New York designed for the repre- 
sentation of Italian operas, which was opened with great 
Jclat on November 18, Rossini's " La Gazza Ladra " being 
chosen for the initial performance. The prices were : 



2 7 8 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



boxes, $1.50; "sofa seats," $2.00; pit, $1.00; gallery, 
75 cents. But the time was far too early for successful 
maintenance of an opera-house in New York (indeed the 
time has not yet arrived for that), and as the enterprise 
languished, it was abandoned, and in 1836 the place 
was opened for dramatic performances as the National 
Theatre. James H. Hackett leased and held it for a 




JUMEL MANSION, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIRST STREET, BETWEEN 
NINTH AND TENTH AVENUES 



brief period. It was destroyed by fire in September, 1839, 
rebuilt and again destroyed in May, 1841. 

The country market and fish-market at Washington 
Market was opened on December 16. 

I was present at the annual feast of the Krout Club, an 
organization of many years before, the Chief of which 
was known as the Grand Krout, and the secretary in the 
fall of the year announced that his august Chief had been 
seen to nod, by which he signified his consent to an as- 
semblage of all Krouts. The exercises were announced 



GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 279 

to commence at 10 A. M., when the "smoked geese would 
parade," followed by sauerkraut, which signified that 
cards would be indulged in until dinner; preceding which 
the secretary read his annual report, which consisted of 
a humorous relation of what had occurred and what had 
not occurred. Stoneall's Hotel, in Fulton Street, was 
the usual place of meeting, the notice of which was the 
display of a cabbage head on a pole projected from a 
window. When the death of a member was announced 
he was said to have wilted. 

In this year President Jackson caused the Government 
money in the Bank of the United States at Philadelphia, 
and its several branches, as at New York, Boston, etc., to 
be withdrawn and deposited in some State banks. The 
act was vigorously opposed and censured by the opposi- 
tion press, and public meetings were held in various 
places for many months after, denouncing the measure; 
but inasmuch as the bank made a very disastrous failure 
soon after, the act of the President met with much less 
condemnation. 

About this time a Mr. Xavier Chabert, who figured here 
as the " Fire-eater," and, being protected by asbestos 
clothes, would enter a heated oven and emerge with im- 
punity, etc., etc., married the possessor of a life interest 
in the block bounded by Ninth and Tenth avenues, 
Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets. To the disgust of 
parties interested in the progress of Chelsea, she gave 
leases of the land which were limited by her life. It was 
held by the objecting parties in Chelsea that the presence 
of a block of low wooden buildings (many of which were, 
and were being transplanted, from other localities), cow- 
sheds and stables, would seriously injure them; on the 
other hand it was asserted that upon death and reversion 
of the interest, all the encumbrances would be removed. 
The response was, "Never, so long as they existed," 
and with a few exceptions they yet remain. 



280 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

This year saw the beginning of the Millerite "craze," 
which assumed considerable proportions during the ten 
years or more next succeeding; causing a good deal of 
talk and newspaper comment and unsettling many weak 
minds. William Miller, of Hampton, N. Y., believed or 
pretended that he had discovered from his study of Holy 
Scripture that the end of the world was near at hand, 
and prophesied Christ's second coming in the month of 
April, 1843. The new doctrine was promulgated by 
preaching and circulation of books and tracts, and secured 
adherents, many of whom, when the appointed time drew 
near, divested themselves of their property, as being of 
no further use to them, and prepared ascension robes, to 
be in readiness for the great day. Nothing unusual 
occurring at that time, it was asserted that some error in 
computation had been found, and that the true date was 
in October of the same year. A letter in the Troy Times 
of July, 1894, contains an account by the Rev. Professor 
Wentworth, then of the Troy Conference Academy, of a 
visit made by him to Miller on this date. Professor 
Wentworth says that, though it was the night set for the 
judgment and conflagration of the world, and the faithful 
were casting away their worldly goods in contempt of all 
things perishable, it was not so with Miller himself. " He 
believed," says Dr. Wentworth, " in the Scriptural injunc- 
tion * Occupy till I come,' and his fields were clean mown 
and reaped, his wood-house was full of wood, sawed and 
piled for winter's use; forty rods of new stone wall had 
been built that fall, and a drag stood ready with bowlders 
as a cargo to be laid upon the wall the next day." 

Lydia Maria Child's caustic comment on the Millerites 
was that she had "heard of very few instances of stolen 
money restored, or falsehoods acknowledged, as a prep- 
aration for the dreaded event." Upon the failure of the 
second prophecy reasons for a new date were forth- 
coming, and again on March 22, 1844, the Millerites, clad 






GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 281 

in their ascension robes, gathered on hill-tops, looking 
vainly for the Coming in the East. It was a pathetic 
company, and much of the pathetic quality attended this 
delusion, in the course of which the more feeble minds 
became deranged, and not a few persons committed 
suicide. 

During the years embraced in this recital, much discus- 
sion of the subject went on among people of a higher 
class than Miller's proselytes. Thus, the Rev. Dr. 
Beman of Troy, N. Y. (predecessor in his pastorate 
of the Rev. Professor Marvin R. Vincent, now of Union 
Theological Seminary), delivered a course of lectures on 
the ''Second Coming of Christ," which showed some 
advanced views, though he disclaimed belief in Miller's 
Immediatism. 

Miller outlived his reputation as a prophet, and the 
end of the world came for him in December, 1849. The 
Second Adventist sect, however, of which he was the real 
father, still survives as his monument, having attained 
the dignity of further sectism and subdivision within 
itself; some of its members having developed new views 
of the Trinity, while some retain orthodox opinions; 
some taking up the Seventh Day notion, while others 
observe Sunday, etc., etc. 

Miller was of course the figure-head, but the brains 
were in the head of Joshua V. Himes, an early convert, 
who became the real organizer of the movement and 
provided and disseminated its literature. In after years, 
when sect after sect appeared among the remaining ad- 
herents of Miller, Mr. Himes continued to be the leader 
of the more conservative. At the age of seventy-four 
he received Deacon's orders in the Episcopal Church, 
at the hands of Bishop Clarkson, and remained in the 
missionary charge then entrusted to him, and active 
therein until his death at ninety years, toward the close 
of 1895. It is a remarkable fact that the Millerite move- 



282 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

merit largely helped to prepare the way for the Episcopal 
Church, into which thousands came after "the time " had 
passed by. It made no converts from that church, but 
drew from the religious bodies in which the doctrines of 
the intermediate state, the Resurrection, and the second 
coming of Christ had been most ignored. The move- 
ment was, as has been well said, "the revenge of 
neglected eschatological truth." 

October 13, at the fall meeting of the Jockey Club on 
Union Course, L. I., there were four entries for the four- 
mile heats, viz.: "Black Maria," by John C. Stevens; 
"Trifle," by John C. Craig; "Lady Relief," by E. A. 
Darcey ; and " Slim," by Bela Badger and John C. Tillot- 
son. "Black Maria" won the first heat; the second was 
declared dead between "Black Maria" and "Trifle"; 
the third was won by "Trifle"; the fourth by "Lady 
Relief," and the fifth and last by "Black Maria." 
" Slim " was distanced in the second heat, and " Trifle " in 
the fifth. The times of the heats in minutes and seconds 
were 8.06, 7.55, 8.13, 8.39, and 8.47. The track was 
heavy from recent rains and the weather cloudy, dark, 
and cold. This was the first and only twenty-mile race 
that ever occurred, and with four horses it would occur 
only with the occurrence of three winning each a heat, 
and one dead heat. When this performance is compared 
with that of the Anglomaniac practices here of the 
present day, of three-quarters, seven-eighths, and one 
and one-quarter mile flat races, the question of an 
improvement in the race-horses of this day, in all 
points, over those of half a century ago becomes very 
problematical. 

In this year there was built at Baltimore by Will- 
iamson & Kennard, for William McKim, the bark 
Ann McKim, of 494 tons, having greater proportion- 
ate length to beam than was the practice, and finer 
ends, and, as a consequence, she was a faster sailer 



GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 283 

than the ordinary vessel of that or a preceding time. 
She, in fact, approached the construction of a half 
clipper. 

The same party had had built in 1825 the square- 
top-sail schooner Yellott, of two hundred tons. She 
was of the type of the world-wide-famed Baltimore 
clippers long, low, and sharp, with raking masts 
and great rise of floor; which latter element made 
this type, from insufficient proportional freight capac- 
ity, to be suited only for slavers, privateers, opium 
smugglers, oyster and fruit bearers, etc. For general 
freight and long voyages they were unsuited, but for 
the specific services above named, they were well suited 
and profitable. 

November 25. In or about this period, when Houston 
Street was being raised to the grade, many feet above 
the wet lands between Broadway and Third Avenue, a 
gentleman who had been mayor of the city remarked to 
his companion in my hearing, " I pity the man who owns 
this." 

The "Red House," fronting on Second Avenue be- 
tween One Hundred and Tenth and One Hundred and 
Thirteenth streets, having a vacant area attached, was 
rented by an association of gentlemen, and occupied 
solely as a resort for pigeon-shooting; named after the 
well-known house and grounds for pigeon-shooting near 
London. In a few years, however, the deaths of three 
of the principal stockholders and patrons induced the 
remainder to dispose of the lease, when the place was 
employed as a hotel, a short trotting-track was laid out, 
and it soon became the headquarters of driving and 
trotting. It was here the prowess of " Flora Temple," 
originally purchased for the considerable sum of eighty 
dollars, was first evinced. 

The originators of this enterprise were James Minell, 
Jehiel Jagger, Jacob Harsen, George W. Blunt, John 



284 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



Lawrence, and some few others, with whom I was 
associated. 

December 31, Chapel Street (College Place) was 
widened from Franklin to Murray Street. 

In April of the previous year, Lexington Avenue was 
opened and John Street, from Broadway to Pearl Street, 
widened, and the New York and Harlem Railroad in 
operation from Prince Street to Murray Hill. 

Shinbone Alley was opened from Wooster Street (Uni- 
versity Place) to Fifth Avenue, and between Washington 
Square and Eighth Street (Washington Place). 




WILLIAM NIBLO'S "SANS SOUCI," BROADWAY, NEAR 
PRINCE STREET 



CHAPTER XV 

1834-1835. GIDEON LEE, 1834, AND CORNELIUS W. LAW- 
RENCE, 1834 AND 1835, MAYORS 

1834. THE first steam motor of the Harlem Railroad 
from terminus to Fourteenth Street was now employed, 
and later in the year the road was opened to Yorkville. 
February n, Platt Street was opened, Pine Street was 
again widened, from Broadway to Nassau Street; Beaver, 
from William to Broad Street; Fulton, from Broadway to 
Ryder's Alley; and Gold from Frankfort to Fulton 
Street, were widened. In this year Augustus Street was 
renamed City Hall Place. 

In April of the previous year Wooster Street (Univer- 
sity Place) was opened from Eighth Street to Fourteenth 
Street. 

I recollect but one florist, and that was a Thomas 
Hogg, who had a store on Bowery Hill in 1828, in 1832 
at 388 Broadway, and in this year in Broadway near 
Twenty-third Street. The custom of funeral wreaths, 
flowers in the churches at Easter, bouquets at dinners, 
weddings, or balls, and boutonntirts, was unknown. 

In this year there were but thirteen markets in the 
city. About this period was constructed, in Thir- 
teenth Street near Fourth Avenue, a tank designed to 
furnish water for extinguishing fires; it was in elevation 
at its surface 104 feet above tide-water, with a capacity 
of 233,000 gallons, and was supplied from a point where 
the Jefferson Market and Court House now stand; the 
water being drawn up from a well supplied from several 
conducting galleries radiating therefrom, and forced by a 
steam-engine of i2-horse power. (See ante, p. 264.) 



286 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

A very large bell was placed on the City Hall to give 
alarms of fire; the city being divided into six areas, 
radiating from the belfry, numbered one to six; and on 
the occasion of a fire in one of them, it was designated 
by a like number of strokes of the bell. It gave a 
sombre, ominous tone, appropriate to the message it 
conveyed. Many New Yorkers still in active life will 
remember the thrilling deep note of " the Hall Bell." 

Excitement over the removal of deposits from the 
United States Bank continued, and meetings of both 
parties Were convened. In January a meeting at the 
Exchange appointed delegates to convey a memorial to 
Congress, and in February a large open-air gathering in 
the Park was the scene of considerable disturbance. On 
February 7, another meeting in the Exchange and the 
neighboring part of Wall Street assembled to receive the 
report of the delegates in charge of the memorial. 
These things greatly intensified interest in the coming 
municipal election, which became almost purely political 
in its nature and was held to bear chiefly on " the Bank 
question." 

In January the old line of Liverpool packets was sold 
out, and Goodhue & Co. became the agents. This 
winter there was long delay in westward passages from 
Europe, and at one time out of forty-six regular packet- 
ships engaged in European trade from New York but 
two were in this port, and they on the eve of sailing 
hence. The latest advices from Liverpool at that date 
were seventy-one days old. 

February 5. The long and embarrassing controversy 
between this State and New Jersey regarding the bound- 
ary line, which was finally defined by the Commissioners, 
was ratified by our Legislature and by that of New 
Jersey, and sanctioned by Congress. 

The principal lines defined were : The middle of the 
North River, from a point on the 4ist degree of latitude; 



GIDEON LEE, MAYOR 287 

the middle of the Bay ; of the Strait (Kill von Kull) 
between Staten Island and New Jersey, and of Raritan 
Bay to the sea, excepting jurisdiction by New York over 
Bedlow's, Ellis', and all other islands in those waters then 
subject to its jurisdiction. A qualified jurisdiction, as it 
was termed, was retained by New York in the waters of 
the Hudson River, and the Bay west of New York Island, 
south of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, and over the lands 
covered by such waters to low water mark on the Jersey 
side. New York to have exclusive jurisdiction in relation 
to quarantine laws and passengers, of and over the waters 
of Kill von Kull to the west side of Shooter's Island, and 
also over the waters of the Sound from the west side of 
Shooter's Island to Woodbridge creek. 

April 8 occurred the charter election, the first 
election of the Mayor by popular vote under the new 
law. The candidates were Cornelius W. Lawrence, 
Democrat, and Gulian C. Verplanck, Whig, the latter 
a firm "Bank Man," the former, "anti-Bank." The 
interest in the election may be estimated from the fact 
that many stores were closed at noon to allow working 
at the polls, and from the great vote that was cast 
exceeding thirty-five thousand and the closeness of the 
result. The days of election at this period were three, 
beginning on Tuesday, with a single polling-place in each 
ward. So close was the result, that it was not until late 
on Friday that the result of 203 Democratic majority was 
known; and in the interval of the prolonged canvass the 
excitement consequent thereon was such as never was 
witnessed before or since. Wall Street was crowded 
from morning until evening, and returns from the differ- 
ent wards were proclaimed from the steps of the Mer- 
chants' Exchange. 

During the progress of this election, and the canvass- 
ing of the tickets, there was some rioting, which but for 
the zealous and effective action of a large number of the 



288 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

citizens, subsequently supported by a military force, 
would have been attended with serious results. At the 
poll in the Sixth Ward, the Whig quarters had been 
invaded by a party of Democrats, and the ballot distrib- 
utors were driven out. A body of special police was 
then formed, led by James Watson Webb, editor of the 
Courier and Enquirer, and the quarters were restored and 
defended, though at the cost of much fighting and many 
bodily injuries. Soon after, both parties became highly 
excited. Wall Street in front of the Merchants' Ex- 
change was thronged. Webb and others addressed the 
crowd, and it being declared that the arsenal in Elm 
Street was about being stormed, the Whigs rushed there 
and took possession of it. Simeon Draper, who was a 
well-known partisan in the Whig camp, took an active 
and conspicuous part, and Colonel Arcularius, who was in 
charge of the arsenal, in his report referred to his action 
as that of "a man with a claret-colored coat," which 
designation was jocularly given to Draper for several 
years after. A body of Democrats, exasperated by the 
offensive partisanship of Mr. Webb, proposed to attack 
the office of the Courier and Enquirer, but Webb had very 
considerately provided an armed force within it, and had 
borne a great number of paving-stones upon the roof to 
be projected upon the attacking party below. His pre- 
cautions were not only very well designed, but effective. 

April 8. Fulton Street from Broadway to Ryder's Alley 
widened. 

The installation and assumption of office by the first 
Mayor elected by the people were held to be deserving 
of more than the usual and restricted ceremony of 
merely calling and shaking hands. Mr. Lawrence having 
provided some refreshments, the attendance was so large 
that it became turbulent and even destructive, rendering 
necessary the presence of police officers to disperse it. 

Though the Democratic Mayor was elected, a Whig 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 289 

Common Council was chosen, and the Whigs deemed it 
a triumph, which they celebrated by a banquet at Castle 
Garden, where a double row of tables ran around the' 
interior, inclosing a pavilion wherein were three pipes of 
wine and forty barrels of beer, which were dispensed to 
the crowd. After the banquet a portion of the company 
was addressed by Daniel Webster from a window of Mrs. 
Edgar's house in Greenwich Street. 

It was during the Mayoralty election of this year that 
the term "Silk Stocking" party was applied by the 
Democrats to their opponents, arising from the circum- 
stance that the excitement of the campaign was such as 
to draw many retired and hitherto non-partisans into it 
in opposition to the Democrats. 

June 25 took place a memorial observance of the 
death of Lafayette, which had occurred on May 20. A 
procession, in which the military made an exceptionally 
fine display, marched from City Hall Park to Castle Gar- 
den, where an address was delivered by Frederick A. 
Tallmadge. The whole proceedings of the day, under 
direction of the city authorities, were tasteful and becom- 
ing as New York's last tribute to the last Major-General 
of the Continental Army. 

July 9, a riot occurred at the Chatham Street 
Chapel, in consequence of the claim of a musical 
society to be entitled to the occupancy of the chapel 
on an evening when some negroes wanted it to hear 
a preacher of their race. Upon being refused admit- 
tance, they burst in, and were eventually removed 
and quieted by a body of police. On the following 
-evening, a crowd broke into the room and organized a 
meeting, during which it was insidiously announced by 
some person that an actor of the New York "Bowery" 
Theatre, Mr. Fallen, was an Englishman, and that' he 
had expressed himself in an offensive manner regard- 
ing this country, and that he was anti-slavery ; where- 

10 



290 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

upon the party proceeded to the theatre, invaded the 
house in all parts, and hissed and hooted Hamblin the 
manager, despite an American flag which he employed 
as a buckler against the missiles projected at him. 
Forrest was called for, and Fallen made his escape. 
The rioters were finally driven out by the police, but 
being elated with their success at the theatre, they then 
proceeded to Lewis Tappan's house at 40 Rose Street 
and sacked it. On the following and succeeding evening 
a mob sacked the house of the Rev. Dr. Ludlow on 
Thompson Street; the African Chapel, corner of Church 
and Leonard streets; St. Philip's Church in Centre 
Street, and stoned Dr. Cox's church, corner of Varick 
and Laight streets. A greater part of the rioting and 
sacking I witnessed. 

This might be termed "riot year." In August hap- 
pened the " Stone-cutters' riot," organized against 
employment of convicts from Sing Sing in preparing 
marble for New York buildings, especially the University 
Building then in progress (the one between Washington 
Place and Waverly Place, just now removed, 1894). 
This riot was dispersed only by the Twenty-seventh 
(now the Seventh) Regiment, which lay under arms in 
Washington Parade Grounds for four days and nights. 

The talk of a new water supply took definite form in 
the Croton Aqueduct project, for which the beginnings 
of surveys and estimates were made in this year. 

September 29, James Sheridan Knowles was seen at the 
Park for the first time in America, assuming the part of 
Master Walter in his own " Hunchback." Knowles was 
but a mediocre actor. He returned to England at the 
close of the season. 

The political canvass of this fall was very animated, 
New York being the ''pivotal State," the vote of which 
would determine approval of President Jackson, and 
settle the "Bank question," the probable succession to 






CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 



2 9 I 



the Presidency of Martin Van Buren, etc. The result 
was a sweeping defeat of the Whigs. 

The Murray House, on a tract of land bordered by the 
Old Boston Road, which gave name to Murray Hill, was 
destroyed by fire in this year. 

Fernando Wood, who was a cigar manufacturer at 
133 Washington Street, discontinued the work, and was 




STRYKER'S HOUSE, FOOT OF WEST FIFTY-SECOND STREET 

employed by Francis Secor & Son, ship carpenters and 
proprietors of a marine railway, 103 Washington Street. 
At that time West Street was not continued out so far 
north, and Washington at that point was open to the 
river. 

John J. Boyd, assistant alderman of the First Ward, 
introduced in his board a resolution designed to effect 
the passage of an ordinance requiring houses of prosti- 



2Q2 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

tution to be licensed and maintained under surveillance. 
The community at large were so wholly unprepared for 
such an acknowledgment of the existence of these houses, 
and displayed so much puerility and mawkish sentiment, 
that his essay was ignored, and socially he suffered for it. 

In the fall of this year, and soon after the general 
election in this State, in which the Democratic party was 
exceptionally successful, Tyrone Power was performing 
at the Park Theatre, and Ritchings in his character in 
the afterpiece, referring to a wig, was required to say 
"Wigs are out of date," which expression was at once 
seized upon by a notorious political partisan from the 
Seventh Ward, who, with some friends, was present in 
the pit, and he and they applauded vociferously. There- 
upon such of the adverse faction as were present hissed, 
and for a long period the uproar continued, and was 
quieted only by Ritchings coming forward and disavow- 
ing any purpose of allusion to a political party. 

November, Mme. Celeste reappeared at the " Bowery " 
Theatre after some years of absence, and repeated her 
former triumphs, her engagement lasting (though not 
continuously) till the next May. 

Perhaps I have not sufficiently displayed one theatrical 
characteristic of this and a somewhat earlier period, 
which consisted in the dramatization of Scott's and 
Cooper's novels. It may be safely said that almost all 
the popular works of those authors were thus presented 
from time to time, and some of them most successfully. 
They were given not only as plays, but sometimes in 
operatic form. 

Commodore Vanderbilt, designing to build another 
steamboat, expressed his views in the presence of a 
steward of one of his boats, who immediately replied : 
"I can furnish eight thousand dollars." The surprise 
of the commodore can be appreciated, when it is related 
that this man had come into his employ but a few years 






2 93 

previous. This man was subsequently part owner and 
captain of a steamboat on the Albany line, touching at the 
State Prison wharf, foot of Christopher Street. It was 
customary with him to visit the dining cabin before 
meals, to check any sumptuousness in the furnishing of 
the table. On one occasion, upon seeing two potatoes 

on one plate, he exclaimed: " two potatoes on one 

plate ! Cut them in four pieces and string them along." 
Occasionally he ventured upon an address to the occu- 
pants of the breakfast table. "Ladies and gentlemen, I 
am very sorry, but my steward did not reach the wharf 
in time with the breakfast provisions, and as they were 
all left you must excuse me this time." At the same time 
the steward was standing aside of him dressed as a waiter. 
The captain continued in employ, and in a few years 
after was the principal owner of one of our largest Sound 
steamers. I was a passenger on the boat on one occa- 
sion, and learned of the scene in the cabin from a 
steamboat man, an intimate acquaintance. 

In this year Morris Canal stock was bought up much 
below par by a party of operators, who " unloaded " it at 
a great advance. Webb of the Courier and Enquirer, for 
a long while after, was frequently reported by Bennett of 
the Herald as ejaculating "curses on Morris." 

July following this a "corner" was operated in stock 
of the New York and Harlem road, when a settlement 
was effected by which a profit of over sixty per cent, was 
realized. 

About this period there was edited and published a 
notoriously vile and scurrilous paper termed The Hawk 
and Buzzard. The burden of its articles was of a vil- 
lanous character, in keeping with its title. No one of 
any prominence was safe from its innuendoes; and 
although not designated by name, his residence or place 
of business would be pointed out as being not a thousand 
miles from some locality or building near his house or 



294 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

office, and in a manner that exposed the party as clearly 
as if his name had been given. Like a hawk it pounced 
upon every one inferior in its own manner of warfare, 
and like a buzzard revelled in offensive and noxious 
matter. Finally, it became so offensive to society in 
general that it was held disgraceful to be seen with it, 
and its publication ceased. 

At the political headquarters and polling-place in each 
ward for it is to be borne in mind that there was but 
on! such place in each it was usual to erect a very high 
spar, surmounted with a gilded cap of liberty, termed a 
Liberty Pole. In consequence of the enthusiasm of the 
Whigs about this period, they erected these poles at their 
ward headquarters. Such erections have since ceased, 
and unless one had witnessed the rearing of one, he 
would doubt that the occasion could have been made one 
of such preparation and consummation a platoon of 
mounted horsemen decked with ribbons, a band of music, 
grand marshal and his aids, flags, emblems, citizens in 
carriages and on foot, speeches, fireworks, etc. In fact, 
it was a display "more honored in the breach than in the 
observance." 

In this year M. M. Noah founded the Evening Star. 
It supported Harrison in 1840. In 1841 it was merged 
with the Commercial Advertiser. 

1835. I n this year the following streets were widened: 
Wall Street, at Pearl; Chatham, from Pearl to Mott; 
Liberty, from Nassau to William; New, from Wall to 
Beaver; William, from Wall to Maiden Lane ; and 
Centre both widened and extended from Grand to 
Chatham. Coenties Slip was partly filled in. 

January 12. The question of the relative merits of the 
New York and Philadelphia fire-engines being constantly 
discussed, the Common Council deputed a committee 
from its members to proceed to Philadelphia and pro- 
cure one of its " gallery" or ''double-decked engines," 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 295 

which it did, and subsequently a second was obtained. 
They had much greater capacity, but were too cumber- 
some for a light company of men. 

February 28, the St. Nicholas Society was organized, 
Peter G. Stuyvesant elected president and Hamilton 
Fish, secretary. A preliminary meeting had been held 
on the i4th, of which Washington Irving was secretary. 
The first annual meeting was held and celebrated on 
December 30. 

May 6. The first number of the Morning Herald, sub- 
sequently the New York Herald, edited and published by 
James G. Bennett & Co., from the basement of No. 20 
Wall Street, appeared this day in four pages of four 
columns 105^ by 14^ inches, price one cent; the 
second number on the eleventh. On the 3ist of August 
it appeared as the Herald, by James Gordon Bennett, and 
subsequent to this as the Morning Herald and again as the 
Herald. The ultimate success of this essay was held to 
be very questionable; but the tone of the articles, aided 
by some interesting letters with the nom de plume of 
" Hector " from Washington, furnished by a resident who 
had held office there for many years, until displaced by 
a change in the administration, was such as to please and 
interest the public, and its success was assured. 

Randall's Island was purchased by the city for fifty 
thousand dollars. In May, Mary Gannon, so long familiar 
at Wallack's in after years, made her first appearance, as 
a child of six, at this house. Fanny Kemble's Journal, now 
exciting attention, having compared reporters to "bugs," 
an amusing burlesque entitled "The Bugs," in which 
some of Miss Kemble's peculiarities were satirized, was 
produced amid much laughter at the "Bowery" in July. 
May n, Tompkins Street was ordered to be opened from 
Thirteenth Street to Twenty -third Street. Subsequently 
rescinded. 

Franklin Market at Old Slip was destroyed by fire; and 
rebuilt in 1836. 



296 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

The University Building on Wooster Street (now Uni- 
versity Place), begun in 1833, was finished. 

This year saw the printing of newspapers by steam 
for the first time, under the auspices of Robert M. Hoe, 
the Sun being the first paper thus printed. The average 
daily circulation of the six leading newspapers was com- 
puted not to exceed seventeen hundred. 

Up to this period there were no real estate brokers; 
the business, when an outside party was employed, being 
confined to James Bleecker & Son, auctioneers. 

Greenwich Market, located in 1813 in Christopher 
Street, from Greenwich to Washington Street, was on 
ground vested in the city by the vestry of Trinity Church, 
with the provision that when it ceased to be used as a 
market it should revert to the church. In this year, in 
consequence of the diversion of its tenants to the Spring 
Street and other markets, it was taken down, and the area 
by ordinance was retained and appropriated for market 
purposes in order to prevent the church from taking pos- 
session. 

A well-known citizen and enterprising builder, whoxle- 
signed and constructed the Colonade Row of houses in 
Lafayette Place, was in the habit of visiting an oyster 
cellar in Broadway near Lispenard Street in the evening, 
which had a double door of entrance, or, that when they 
are very narrow are termed two half-doors. Through the 
opening of one he passed when entering the cellar, but 
upon departing it was related that the second fold was 
necessarily opened to admit of his passing out. This was 
not an invidious charge, it was a fact, and one I have 
witnessed, and of which operation it may aptly be quoted, 
Facilis descensus Averni est, sed revocare gradum, superasque 
evadere ad auras, hoc opus, hie labor est. 

Samuel F. B. Morse, in his essays to convince the peo- 
ple of the practicability and consequent utility of gener- 
ating and controlling an electric current, caused to be 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 297 

laid a metallic wire around the inner circle of Castle 
Garden, and publicly exhibited the passage of an electric 
current through the wire. He had conceived the idea in 
1832. 

Grant Thorburn, a grocer in 1797 at No. 22 Nassau, 
a seedsman and florist in 1806 at No. 22 Liberty Street, 
from his eccentricity, loquacity, quaker-clothes, and 
crippled gait, etc., was a well-known character. He 
told me once he had "wrought with Tom Paine." 
When the morus multicaulis fever broke out he, with 
many others, was seized with it so virulently that 
he planted mulberry trees on an extensive scale and 
while others withdrew at the proper time, or in the 
language of the day, "sold out," he, from the force of 
a fervid imagination, retained faith in the success of the 
enterprise, and when it failed signally he was financially 
ruined. Thorburn was well known as "Laurie Todd," 
a name which he appended to his frequent newspaper 
contributions. 

The New York and Erie Railroad, a preliminary survey 
for which had been made in 1825, through the southern 
tier of counties, was not approved of, but in 1832 the 
company was incorporated, in 1833 organized, and in 
this year a final survey was made, and on the 7th of 
November the construction of the roadway commenced. 
The company applied to the legislature for State aid 
to the amount of two million dollars, but the application 
was refused. 

This was a season of very great apparent business pros- 
perity in New York, with inflated prices for every sort of 
commodity. City real estate, in particular, showed un- 
heard of values, some considerable transfers being made 
at prices four times as high as were paid for the same 
property but few years earlier. 

The Book Club, founded by the Rev. Dr. Wainwright, 
was one of the favorite institutions of this time, holding 



298 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

fortnightly meetings at the Washington Hotel. In spite 
of its name, the Club was rather convivial than literary, 
though the meetings were much attended by men of 
literary tastes, as Halleck, Ogden Hoffman, Dr. Fran- 
cis, etc. 

The Croton Aqueduct project, being submitted to 
popular vote at the spring election, was adopted by a 
large majority. 

In June of this year our native citizens became excited 
upon a call issued in one of the newspapers for attend- 
ance at a meeting with a view to organize an O'Connell 
Guard. On the 2ist of that month an encounter took 
place between two parties in Grand near Crosby Street 
in which Dr. McCaffrey was killed. The riot extended 
to Pearl Street, when it was arrested, and the crowd 
partially dispersed. On the 22d, a mob proceeded to a 
restaurant in the Bowery, near Broome Street, known 
as the Green Dragon, broke in, and destroyed tables, 
chairs, etc., before it could be checked. This was known 
as "the Five Points Riot." 

June 16, Wall Street widened on south side from Broad 
to Pearl Street. 

In or about 1832 a party of young gentlemen of the 
city organized a boat club, elected Charles Fenno Hoffman 
captain, and had a very commodious barge constructed. 
The example was soon followed by others, and in this 
year the number of boat clubs was at its height. There 
was an annual regatta at which prizes were competed 
for. July 21 st there was a boat race for one thousand 
dollars between the boats Eagle and Wave, which was 
won by the latter. 

August 1 2th, a fire broke out at 115 Fulton Street, 
that involved almost the whole printing and publishing 
neighborhood. Before it could be checked it had burned 
both sides of Fulton Street for nearly a block, both sides 
of Ann Street to Nassau (including the Roman Catholic 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 299 

church, which originally was Episcopal, and owned by 
the Rev. Mr. Selden), and a dozen buildings in Nassau 
Street. Five lives were lost, and as the buildings burned 
were chiefly new, the pecuniary loss also was great. 

August 27, a public meeting of citizens, for the purpose 
of expressing their opinion in relation to the action of 
the Abolitionists, was called to meet in the City Hall 
Park. On assembling, the Mayor was called on to pre- 
side, and the attendance was not only large, but in the 
character of those who took an active part in the pro- 
ceedings it was far in advance of any public assemblage 
I ever witnessed. 

In the fall of this year the Street Department com- 
menced a test of the fitness of wooden block pavement; 
the point selected was in Broadway between Chambers 
and Warren streets. Hemlock blocks were well bedded 
on a foundation somewhat alike to a"Telford." For 
some months vehicles ran over the surface so smoothly 
and noiselessly that the public were in raptures, and Mr. 
Brower, then the proprietor of the largest line of Broad- 
way omnibuses, remarked in my presence that he would 
give one hundred dollars per year for each of his stages 
if Broadway were paved in like manner throughout. How 
long this desirable condition of the pavement lasted I do 
not recollect, but I do know that within a year that which 
remained of it was positively ludicrous in its condition 
irregularly worn, depressed in spots, risen in others, and 
the voids patched and plastered with cobble-stones and 
cement. 

The difficulty was, the bedding was not sufficiently 
stable for the blocks, and they were too soft for the 
travel in Broadway at that point. 

September. It was alleged that parties in New 
Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and Norfolk had 
contributed the sum of one hundred thousand dollars 
to be expended in the abduction of either Arthur or 



300 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Lewis Tappan, two zealous Abolitionists, and that it was 
designed to avail of a favorable opportunity to seize and 
carry them to a vessel awaiting off Sandy Hook. 

Later, it was further alleged that the Committee of 
Vigilance of East Feliciana, La., offered a premium of 
fifty thousand dollars to any one who would kill Arthur 
Tappan, then the head of the anti-slavery movement; 
both of which offers were very generally disapproved of, 
both at the North and the South. 

October 4, a party of young Englishmen, the guests 
of the Marquis of Waterford, who had lately arrived here 
in his yacht, consisting of Lords John Beresford and 
Jocelyn and Colonel Dundas, indulged in a night spree 
in the streets, amusing themselves, to the inconvenience 
of all others, until they were arrested by watchmen, kept 
in the watch-house all night, and arraigned before Justice 
Hopson in the morning. 

October 21, the steamboat Champlain, of the New 
York and Albany Line, made the run from Albany in eight 
hours and seventeen minutes, exclusive of stoppages at 
different landings. 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York 
organized. The headquarters of this Society is in Paris; 
its objects are the practice of Christian life; the visiting 
and succoring of the poor, etc.* 

At this time there was a very serious dissension in the 
Democratic party, incited in a great measure by Mr. 
William Leggett, the editor of the Evening Post, one of 
the ablest political writers of the period. Logical, caustic, 
and wholly regardless of the favor of any one, he was an 
acknowledged power. Levi D. Slamm and Alex. Ming, 
Jr., a printer, were converts to his views, and they led 
a numerous band of partisans. On the occasion of a 

* In 1874, a similar Institution, The United Hebrew Charities of the 
City of New York, was organized, its objects being to relieve distress 
among the Hebrew poor and to prevent pauperism. 






CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 301 

County meeting at Tammany Hall, on October 25, the 
room was filled by the partisans of the Regular Democ- 
racy and the discontented; the latter being led by Slamm 
and Ming, who anticipated that the regulars would resort 
to an act that had been practised with success on a pre- 
vious occasion, viz. : submitting resolutions, declaring 
them carried, and then, by previous arrangement, and at 
a signal, having the gas turned off; thus terminating the 
meeting. But the opponents were well supplied with 
candles and friction matches, then universally termed 
loco foco, and so soon as the gas was turned off, as actu- 
ally happened, they lighted their candles, organized, and 
proceeded with their business. This action gave rise to 
the sobriquet of Loco Foco party, and the Democratic party 
was thus designated for many years afterward. Ex 
nomine cujus venit verbum vernaculum. The object of the 
opposition at this meeting was to defeat the nomination 
of Gideon Lee for Congress. This year the Native 
American party nominated a Congressional candidate in 
New York. The opposition papers, in referring to the 
party in this city, termed it that of "Slamm, Bang, Ming 
& Co." 

Booth the tragedian sometimes suffered the affliction 
under which the great George Frederick Cooke * (whose 
monument is to be seen in St. Paul's Churchyard) fre- 
quently suffered. On an occasion of his appearing as 
lago at the " Bowery " Theatre, he abruptly left the stage, 
made an exit through a back door, and was not found 
for some days. When found, however, and brought 

* It is related of Cooke (George Frederick) that when in a condition 
that necessitated his being brought to the theatre, he would still perform 
in a perfectly satisfactory manner. A gentleman of my acquaintance, who 
was an enthusiastic admirer of him, told me that he had seen him per- 
form Richard III. in three manners, viz.: as an abashed villain, as 
usually represented, as a deep and cunning schemer, and as a dashing 
and chivalrous gentleman. 



302 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




EXCHANGE PLACE, CORNER OF HANOVER STREET 

to the theatre, he signed an apology to the public for 
his unconscious act, caused " by mental inquietude, etc," 
or words to that effect, whereupon he was again engaged 
and for a time performed acceptably. 

The United States frigate Constitution arrived here 
from Boston, where, with the exception of a piece of her 
keel, she had been wholly reconstructed upon her original 
lines. Ordinarily, the ornamented heads of our vessels 
of war were simple " billet heads," as they were termed; 
but in this case, in compliment to General Jackson, then 
President, who had interposed to prevent the said vessel 
from being wholly destroyed and her name erased from 
the roll of the Navy, a full figure of him was substituted. 
At this period political partisanship (Whigs and Demo- 



CORNELIUS W. LAWYENCE, MAYOR 303 

crats) was being conducted with a vigor and asperity 
more alike to that of the early days of the Republic than 
any exhibition of it that has since occurred, and it par- 
took also of especial animosity to General Jackson. On 
a stormy night when the Constitution was at anchor off the 
Navy Yard, the head of the figure was sawn off, and said to 
have been taken to Philadelphia, where at a dinner it was 
brought in on a salver. In the mean time the vessel was 
ordered to New York, where a head by the ship-carvers, 
Messrs. Dodge, was restored. 

The man who was said to have committed the act, so 
generally applauded by Whigs and equally condemned by 
the Democrats, was reported to have died a few months 
since (1894). I knew him, and in manner and sentiment 
and figure, he was just such as one would select for such 
a hazardous enterprise. 

The mission of the Constitution was to proceed to 
France, and if the Indemnity Bill, awarding the claims of 
our countrymen for spoliation during the late war of 
France with England, had not passed, she was to bear the 
American Minister to the United States, but, if it had 
passed, she was to proceed to the Mediterranean. She 
proceeded. 

The attention of real estate speculators having become 
directed from Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place to 
Brooklyn property, especially the water-front, farms at 
Gowanus, Red Hook, etc. land which could have been 
bought for one hundred dollars per acre a very few years 
previous were sold for five and six hundred dollars. It 
was an ephemeral valuation, and when reaction came, as 
it did in 1837, the prices decreased as rapidly as they had 
risen, and to an extent that induced not only foreclosures, 
but voluntary abandonments of the purchases with the loss 
of the amount paid. An amusing account was current of 
an enterprise of a tradesman, a shop-keeper in a small 
way in William Street, a Mr. Pepoo; who, becoming 



304 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

interested in the daily recitals of fortunes being realized 
in a brief period by purchasing real estate in Brooklyn, 
visited the Exchange on the occasion of a great sale of 
lots at Gowanus, described as having a valuable water- 
front. In the progress of the sale he became seized 
with the spirit of speculation, and successfully bid for 
some lots with a water-front, paid the percentage for 
deposit, and so self-satisfied was he with his action that 
he felt justified in treating himself to a dinner at Del- 
monico's. TJie next day he proceeded to visit his newly 
acquired property, and upon arriving in the locality, and 
describing his lots on the auctioneer's map, a boatman 
rowed him some distance from the shore and pointing 
down one of his oars and his arm also, exultingly said: 
"This is about the corner of your lots." Mr. Pepoo 
returned home a sadder but a wiser man. 

An Englishman, an editor of The Sun, Richard Adams 
Locke, who for some weeks had been engaged on a con- 
certed scheme to bring the paper into notoriety, ingeni- 
ously conceived the recital of an alleged late success in 
the construction of a telescope by Sir J. F. W. Herschel, 
affirming that the article had been copied from a philo- 
sophical journal of Edinburgh. He declared that by the 
new telescope the surface of the moon was as clearly 
shown as if it was but a few miles distant; so near, was it 
stated, that the existence and even the conformation of 
inhabitants was shown, and they were bats, evidently, 
from his description, of the ordo cheiroptera; and so 
graphically was the whole portrayed that editors of 
many newspapers and the general public were deceived. 
Clergymen recognized the alleged developments, and 
pronounced them a work of the Supreme, and although 
many persons declared that they did not credit the 
account, it was very widely believed; and some papers 
published the main features of Locke's article, asserting 
that it was copied by them from the designated Edin- 






CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 305 

burgh journal. A professor in a Southern college, on 
reading the description of the instrument, observed that 
such a construction was wholly impracticable, and he 
immediately declared the account a deliberate hoax. It 
was ever after known as the "Moon Hoax." So fre- 
quently does it occur that the plots of many of the most 
noted criminals and perpetrators of crimes have been 
discovered by the omission of some little factor or detail 
of the defence. So great was the public interest in 
this matter that an extravaganza was produced at the 
"Bowery" Theatre, entitled "Moonshine, or Lunar 
Discoveries." 

On the evening of the i6th of December, the great fire, 
as it was then and since has been termed, broke out 
between eight and nine o'clock at No. 25 Merchant 
Street, now Hanover Street. The area covered by it 
was computed at fifty acres, being bounded by South 
Street, Coenties Slip, Broad and Wall streets, including 
twenty blocks of buildings, the Merchants' Exchange, 
the Post-office, and two churches. The fire spread very 
rapidly, and soon became unmanageable. In the efforts 
to save property, horses and carts were purchased at 
prices that seemed fabulous, and forthwith employed in 
the removal of goods. In many instances goods that 
were transported to an apparent place of safety were 
there burned, and in some instances others were removed 
a second and a third time. The thermometer indicated 
a temperature of ten degrees below zero, the fire 
hydrants in most cases were frozen, and where they were 
not, the water from them froze in the hose. Moreover, 
the water in the slips was so low, from long prevalence 
of a strong north-west wind, that it could not be reached 
from wharves with the suction-pipes. The engines froze 
tight when they were not worked constantly, and many 
became inactive from this cause. 

Concerning the removal of goods : An intimate friend 



306 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of mine, a partner in a very prominent house, came to me 
and in a very satisfied manner and tone of voice told me 
that he was safe, the fire would not reach him. " Safe! " 
I replied. " Remove your goods immediately, and don't 
stop short of the Battery." "Do you think so?" he 
replied. " Yes, and do you be quick too. " He proceeded 
to remove his goods near to Coenties' Slip, at two 
hundred dollars per hour for carts. Soon after he again 
removed what was left of them to the Battery. I have 
stated that in many cases horses and carts were bought 
for exorbitant sums. Such enterprise was not manifested, 
however, until after it became evident that all policies 
for insurance were of no value. 

The arrest of the fire in its lines of progress was es- 
sayed by blowing up adjoining buildings, but except in 
one case, near Coenties' Slip, the operation was a failure. 
In Exchange Street, the second store from one that was 
burning was selected for destruction ; a keg of powder 
was put by me in the centre of the cellar, and a board 
fitted from the top of it to the under side of the floor 
beams above ; I then unrolled a roll of textile fabric and 
led it over an inclined board from the keg to the floor 
and out into the street. Removing the head of another 
barrel, powder taken from it was led in a train over the 
fabric to straw taken from a champagne basket and 
ignited. The explosion occurred, and the effect was so 
general upon the entire building that, falling down in a 
mass, the exposed rafters, floor, beams, and woodwork 
rapidly ignited, and the effect upon the adjoining store 
was more destructive than the fire would have been in its 
natural progress. It happened that the double ware- 
house of Pentz & Co. was blown up against the owners' 
will, they thinking the building to be fire-proof. They 
therefore refused to give up the keys, and the doors were 
forced by the authorities. Pentz & Co. afterward recov- 
ered more than two hundred thousand dollars damages 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 307 

from the city for the property thus forcibly taken and 
destroyed, though it would have been burned in the 
course of the conflagation had it remained. 

The fire raged for two nights, not ceasing till the third 
day. It was reported to have been seen in New Haven 
and in Philadelphia. On the second day a body of four 
hundred Philadelphia firemen came to relieve their ex- 
hausted fellow-firemen of New York. The railway was 
not at this time entirely complete, and the Philadel- 
phians had to drag their engines across a gap of six 
miles, over sandhills. The loss was estimated at fif- 
teen millions of dollars ; a similar destruction at the 
present time would involve a loss of two hundred mil- 
lions. The insurance companies were all (or very nearly 
all) made bankrupt. At a meeting of citizens, called 
by the Mayor on the iQth, a committee of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five was appointed to pursue various 
measures of relief; in consequence of which the Legisla- 
ture authorized a city loan of six millions for advances 
on the securities held by insurance companies, in order 
that cash for payment of losses, so far as the assets would 
allow, might be speedily forthcoming. A great meeting 
in Philadelphia passed resolutions calling on the General 
Government for financial aid to New York. Yet such 
were the enterprise, the courage, and elastic temper of 
the city that, only in the next February, twenty lots in 
the burned district were sold by auction for more than 
they would have brought before the fire, when occupied 
by valuable buildings. A statue of Alexander Hamilton 
by Ball Hughes, placed in the Rotunda of the Merchants' 
Exchange, was destroyed in the great fire. Of this fire 
I can truly add : Omnium quorum vidi et quorum pars fui. 

Soon after the fire a meeting of merchants and insur- 
ance men was held, at which committees were appointed 
to apply to Congress for an extension of the time of pay- 
ment of duties, in order to enable the people to meet the 



308 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

costs of the regulation of the streets within the area 
of the burned district, the erection of new build- 
ings, etc. 

Up to this time the Episcopal Church had maintained 
but one diocese in the entire State, but shortly afterward 
(1838) the diocese of Western New York was created, to- 
be followed by further division at different dates into the 
present five dioceses within the State. This Church has 
enjoyed extraordinary growth. In 1835 lt counted 214 
parishes, 194 clergy, and 9738 communicants in the whole 
State ; the returns of 1894 show, within the same area, 
850 parishes, 875 clergy, and 140,000 communicants. 

December 22, died Dr. David Hosack, perhaps the 
foremost physician of his day, a man of varied culture. 
He had an extensive family connection among New York 
society, and was one of the best known personages in 
the city at that time. 

Referring to the files of a city paper of this and some 
preceding years, to verify a date, I noticed that the list of 
members of our State Legislature, in and about the year 
1829, presented the names of solid citizens, members of 
a legal trade or a profession, having a stake in the inter- 
ests of the people, whether in enacting safeguards for the 
protection of their property, penal laws, the granting of 
aid to eleemosynary institutions, or authorizing facilities 
to meet the increased demands of an increasing popula- 
tion, and without looking to any pecuniary remuneration 
or "boodle," as it now is so generally and vulgarly 
termed, viz. : Representatives in Congress were Gulian 
C. Verplanck, Campbell P. White, Elisha W. King, 
Churchill C. Cambreleng, and Pierre C. Van Wyck ; and 
Aldermen Campbell P. White, Samuel Gilford, Richard 
S. Williams, Lambert Suydam, William Gracie, Evert A. 
Bancker, Pierre C. Van Wyck, Jonathan I. Coddington, 
Philip Brasher, Richard L. Schieffelin, Egbert Benson, 
and many others of like stamp. 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 309 

Neither did the candidates for election expend to 
exceed twelve thousand dollars to attain it, as a Senator 
vauntingly declared in my presence; who had withdrawn 
from a lucrative trade to become a politician of the type 
designated machine, joining the dominant party even at 
the reversal of his fealty to his faction: neither did they 
bow to the dicta of a Tweed or the counsel of a Connolly- 
one who had at his entrance into political and public life 
deservedly acquired the sobriquet of "Slippery Dick," 
the fitness of the term being steadfastly and uniformly 
maintained in all his acts and promises; neither were 
there any among them who were the proprietors of 
premises which were a medley of brothel, gambling 
house, rum and policy shops, or their locale, where 
" knock-out drops" on fitting occasions were admin- 
istered to a casual patron, or were known in the locality 
and designated to the passer-by by the inelegant but in- 
dicative designation of "The Burned Rag" and like 
appellations. Nor did an aspirant for a nomination to 
an elective office, State or civil, seek for support among 
the denizens of " Mackerelville," "Hell's Kitchen," or 
prefer a claim for pecuniary credit because he had just 
been elected an alderman, and at a period when there 
was not any salary attached to the office. 

Later, there was a powerful association, the location 
of which was principally in the lower part of the Bowery, 
and known as " The Dead Rabbits," which not only con- 
trolled nominations or defeated candidates for office and 
sent members to the Common Council, but in one case 
a Representative to Congress. The origin of the desig- 
nation was the result of a defiance between two factions 
of a fraternity of rowdies and loungers, one of whom, in 
passing the room where a number of the adverse party 
had assembled, threw a dead rabbit at them through "the 
window. Le vrai nest pas toujours le vraisemblable. 

In referring to my proof-sheets I observe that I have 



3io 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



omitted some relations worthy of record, and I now give 
them. 

When President Jackson directed the United States 
deposits to be removed from the custody of the United 
States Bank and its branches (see p. 279), the measure 
was not only condemned by his political opponents, but 
it was derisively represented by the issue of a great 
number of copper tokens, representing the President as- 
within an iron chest, holding a sword in one hand and 
a bag of money in the other, and quoting, "I take the 
responsibility," and on the obverse, a jackass as typical 
of the " Roman firmness" he was credited with, and 
the legend, " The Constitution as I understand it." 

Although the issue of these tokens was not confined to 
this city, yet as they were designed and made here, and 
in view of the pivotal political status of both the State 
and city, they were more generally circulated here than- 
elsewhere, replacing the "head and tail " of the cent as 
an instrument of decision by " Jackson or jackass." 

Tompkins Street was opened to Rivington Street in 
1826. Anthony Street extended to Orange Street in 
1832. 




CHAPTER XVI 

1836-1837. CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, 1836-1837, 
AARON CLARK, 1837, MAYORS 

1836. In this year the " burned district," as the area of 
the great fire of the year preceding was termed, was im- 
proved in some of its street lines. Also Cherry, from 
Catherine Street to Franklin Square; Grove Street^ 
Stone, from William to Broad; Maiden Lane at the cor- 
ner of Nassau; John, from Broadway to Pearl Street; 
and Pine, from Nassau to William Street, were widened. 

The area bounded by the Bowery, Art and Eighth 
streets, and Lafayette Place was made a public place. 
The statue of Samuel S. Cox is now in its centre. 

Monroe Market, on Grand, Monroe, and Corlears 
streets, was constructed to replace the one in Grand 
Street, which was held to be too much of an obstruction 
to travel, and was removed. 

The Screw Docks, incorrectly so termed, fronting oa 
South Street between Market and Pike streets, first 
located in 1828 between Front and South streets, were 
necessarily removed in this year in order to open South 
Street. 

An ordinance was passed for the opening of Eleventh 
Street from the Bowery (now known as Fourth Avenue) 
to Broadway, but Mr. Brevoort, who owned contiguous 
property, delayed and resisted its operation. In 1849 a 
second ordinance like to that of 1836 was passed, and 
it was met by Mr. Brevoort with equal and successful 
resistance. 

In this year the building was begun of the new Custom 
House (now the Sub-Treasury). 



312 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

The Union Theological Seminary was established, next 
to the University, at Washington Parade Ground. 

This was a time of rapid growth for the press. For 
many years a new newspaper appeared almost annually, 
The New York Daily Express and Daily Advertiser, edited 
by James and Erastus Brooks, first appeared in June of 
this year, from its office in the Tontine Building. The 
Herald was enlarged, and its price raised to two cents. 
James Gordon Bennett, editor of the Herald, errone- 
ously published in a list of failures the name of John 
Haggerty, the leading auctioneer at the time of package 
goods. Haggerty sued him and obtained a verdict, after 
which Bennett frequently referred to him as John O'Hag- 
gerty, alleging that he was of Irish descent. On January 
19, James Watson Webb, of the Courier and Enquirer, 
retaliated for an attack upon himself published in the 
Herald, by assaulting Bennett in Wall Street, where he 
knocked him down and beat him. 

In January the " Bowery" Theatre produced Miss 
Medina's drama founded on Theodore S. Fay's novel of 
"Norman Leslie," which was elaborately furnished by 
the management and had a long run. Fay and myself 
were classmates at Nelson's. 

In evidence of the severity of the winter, on the night 
of the great fire the thermometer indicated 10 minus, 
and in the latter part of this month a Long Island news- 
paper records that two gentlemen crossed the sound on the 
ice, from the Island to Rye, and returned a distance of 
fifteen miles. On the 4th of February both the North 
and East rivers were crossed on ice. 

February, Maria Monk, a nun in a monastery in Mon- 
treal, escaped and published her experience there, mak- 
ing severe charges against practices, which, being denied 
by Roman Catholics and sustained by others, involved a 
very severe and protracted dispute, which was continued 
with so much virulence and referred to by clergymen of 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 313 

all sects, that a mob gathered one evening for the purpose 
of burning St. Patrick's Church in Mott Street. The pur- 
pose having been communicated to the Catholics, they 
not only filled the church with armed men, but the walls 
were in some places crenellated. As a result the church 
was too well protected to allow a storm, and the mob 
dispersed. 

March 16. The rivalry between the two medical col- 
leges, " Barclay " and " Rutgers," led to many disputa- 
tions among the members of the faculty and students, 
and on this day a personal rencontre occurred in the 
American Hotel, corner of Broadway and Barclay Street, 
in which several of the professors of the two colleges 
were participants. 

March 21, at Cato's, on Boston Road and Fifty-second 
Street, two well-known gentlemen met, and offence being 
taken at the act of one of them, a knock-down occurred, 
followed by a challenge to meet at Montreal; both parties 
forthwith proceeded there, one of them with a friend, and 
the other alone, depending upon an acquaintance there, 
who was absent; and as the officers of the garrison then 
had agreed not to act as the friends of any person coming 
there from the States, he was unable to obtain a party 
to meet that of his antagonist, who, after waiting a day, 
returned to the city, where the action of both parties was 
very freely commented and dwelt upon by the friends of 
both: one party being censured for leaving without 
communication with the other, the other for leaving here 
without a friend; and on the 2d of May, the one who was 
unable to obtain a friend in Montreal, being accompanied 
by a friend here, met two of the adverse party in Wash- 
ington Hall, and a fracas occurred, in which one of the 
former party was slightly wounded with a sword cane. 

May 4. Whilst a very extensive fire was raging in 
Houston and First streets it was communicated to the 
firemen that their chief engineer, James Gulick, had been 



314 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



removed by the Board of Aldermen then in session, and 
JohnRyker, Jr., appointed in his place. Gulick was very 
popular with the firemen, and his abrupt removal elicited 
such a feeling of resentment that a great majority of 
them turned the front of their caps behind, and arrested 
operation. Such condition being communicated to the 
Mayor, he appeared on the ground, and succeeded in 




VARIAN HOUSE, BROADWAY AND TWENTY-SIXTH STREET 



controlling the indignation of the firemen, so that they 
returned to their duty, and the further extension of the 
fire was stopped. 

Gulick was elected Register in November of the year by 
a majority in every ward in the city. The next spring his 
successor, John Ryker, Jr., was removed, and Cornelius 
V. Anderson was appointed in his place. It was said 
that nine-tenths of the firemen had resigned previous to 
this, and perhaps this was true of full one-quarter of them, 
but they returned upon Anderson's appointment. The 



CORNELLUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 315 

manner of Ryker's appointment was objected to. Ander- 
son was a singularly good chief, and much improved the 
apparatus of the Department, which the authorities had 
been slow to do. In his day, buildings were said to be 
" running up to the height of four and five stories " in 
New York. 

May 23, Webb of the New York Enquirer published an 
article charging Wood, the actor, with offensive actions 
toward a favorite actress, whereupon the audience on the 
evening of the day of the publication hissed Wood, who 
advanced to the footlights and denied that there was any 
just foundation for the charge ; his denial was accepted so 
far as to arrest any further demonstration. On the follow- 
ing morning Webb, in his peculiar and persistent man- 
ner, republished the charge. Wood challenged him, the 
audience renewed their hissing in the evening, and Webb 
the morning after, the 28th, addressed an article to the 
public, calling upon it to assemble at the theatre and 
drive Wood off the stage. Such a call was sure to be 
responded to, in attracting great numbers to the theatre, 
which it did, and as a result Mr. Simpson was compelled 
to come forward and announce the withdrawal of the 
Woods and the annulment of their engagement. I 
was present the first night, but avoided the second 
and last, having been present at the Anderson riot 
in 1831. 

May 30. The Astor House, on Broadway between 
Vesey and Barclay streets, was opened in this year by 
Boyden of the Tremont, Boston, and deeded by John 
Jacob Astor to his son William B. for one dollar, and was 
the wonder of the time. The interior of the quadrangle, 
now containing the bar, lunch-counters, etc., was then a 
garden, affording a pleasant view from the windows of 
the inner rooms. Flower beds extended along the sides, 
next to the building, inclosing an expanse of turf with 
walks, and a pretty fountain in the centre. The smoking- 



316 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

room of the hotel commanded this view from the east. 
These conditions remained unchanged for many years. 

It was in this year that the dicta of trades-unions came 
into such conflict with the rights of individuals that the 
criminal law was referred to and exercised in their behalf. 

A number of Union journeymen tailors stood out 
" struck " is the word of a later day for an increase of 
pay, and assaulted some non-union men who preferred to 
work at the pay they were receiving rather than to try 
to increase it by refusing to work at all. The assailants 
were arrested and convicted, when a diabolical and in- 
flammatory hand-bill was posted in which freemen were 
called upon to go to the Park and witness the sentencing 
of their fellows to servitude; but, notwithstanding this. 
Judge Edwards sentenced them. 

The Board of Aldermen were summarily convened, and 
adopted an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to offer a 
reward for the discoverer of the printer, author, or poster 
of the bills. 

Following this the men employed in the loading and 
unloading of vessels stevedores and laborers decided 
to demand an increase of pay, which being denied, they 
proceeded to prevent those from working who were 
willing to continue for the existing wages. So formi- 
dable was the number of " strikers " as they were termed, 
that some captains of vessels in progress of being dis- 
charged or loaded armed their crews to defend their 
work. Whereupon Jacob Hays, the High Constable, pro- 
ceeded to where the strikers had assembled and addressed 
them literally as follows: 

11 Gentlemen and Blackguards go home or go along 
with me. Taint no way this to raise wages. If your 
employers won't give you your price, don't work; keep 
home and lay quiet make no riots here, I don't allow 
them things. Come, march home with you; your wives 
and children want you no way this to raise wages." 



CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 317 

The stand taken by the stevedores was followed by 
that of the laborers at work upon the ruins of the late 
fire in the removal of bricks, etc., and so formidable was 
their attack upon those who were willing to work that it 
became necessary to resort to military power to control 
them. 

During this year the up-town movement made great 
advances, the dwellings below Chambers Street command- 
ing so high prices for purposes of constantly expanding 
business that the occupants could scarce afford to retain 
them for domestic use. Thereupon, up-town property 
increased greatly in selling value, and rents rose enor- 
mously; in fact this was a period of high prices for every 
thing, with all the marks of a speculative era. 

Miss Harriet Martineau visited New York in April and 
was well received, attracting the attention which, among 
us in those simpler days, was the sure perquisite of any 
European author of tolerable reputation. 

Up to this time, and for many years afterward, or 
until the number of social clubs had much increased, the 
side rooms of our principal hotels were essentially club- 
rooms for many persons. Numbers of bachelors and 
young men were in the habit of resorting to each hotel, 
confident of making there a social, and even a convivial 
party. The City Hotel and Washington Hall had each 
a set of evening visitors, as well defined and almost as 
exclusive as if they were members of a club. Colonel 
Nicholas (Nick) Saltus, at the City Hotel, assumed and 
was conceded the prerogatives of the presiding officer of 
a club. But on June 17 of this year was founded the 
Union Club, earliest of all in New York, using the word 
in its modern sense. The meeting for its organization 
was attended by many of the most eminent citizens. 
June i of the following year the club-house, then' at 
343 Broadway, was first opened to members. In the 
spring of 1842, the growing need of larger accommoda- 



3-8 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




HOUSE OF NICHOLAS WILLIAM STUYVESANT, THIRTEENTH AND 
SIXTEENTH STREETS AND AVENUES FIRST AND A. 

tions compelled the first of the club's northward jour- 
neys, and it removed to 376 Broadway. In the autumn 
of 1850 it yielded further to the up-town tendency, and 
settled itself at 691 Broadway, remaining there until the 
occupancy of its present house at Fifth Avenue and 
Twenty-first Street, in 1854. 

February 18, the Methodist Book Concern, occupying 
a five-story building on Mulberry Street in which two 
hundred persons were employed, was burned. The 
weather was extremely cold and the hydrants were 
frozen, so that the destruction was complete. Some of 
the burned books, carried by the wind from this fire, were 
found in adjacent parts of Long Island, and among them, 
it was said, a charred leaf of a Bible on which the only 






CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 319 

words legible were the verse, Isaiah Ixiv. n : " Our holy 
and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, 
is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant things are 
laid waste." I think it was in the spring of this year 
that the beautiful Mrs. Shaw first appeared in America, 
at the Park Theatre. She had many charms and was 
greatly popular. In 1839 sne joined the "Bowery" com- 
pany which, though a successful engagement, did not 
tend to increase her artistic reputation, and as her 
attractions declined she lost in some degree her hold on 
public favor. She married 'Hamblin, the " Bowery '* 
manager, in 1849. 

The Richmond Hill Theatre was opened in mid-June 
by Mrs. Hamblin, well supported for a time. Here 
appeared Caroline Fox, at seven years, afterward Mrs. 
G. C. Howard, the famous Topsy. 

April n, Helen Jewett, a boarder in a house in Thomas 
Street kept by Rosina Townsend, was murdered; the 
bed-clothes being ignited with a view to conceal the 
murder by the destruction of the body. A young man, 
Richard P. Robinson, who was at the time a clerk with 
Joseph Hoxie, was arrested, charged with the crime, 
tried, and although the evidence against him was so con- 
vincing that scarcely a doubt of his guilt was enter- 
tained, yet, in consequence of a man at the close of the 
trial being found who swore to meeting Robinson at the 
time that the murder was committed, the accused was 
acquitted. It was charged and credited that a juror had 
been bribed so as to secure a disagreement. I knew the 
man who swore to the alibi ^ and knew him to be unworthy 
of credence, not from venality or other influence, but 
from mental weakness. This was a very celebrated case, 
and will be remembered by every New Yorker who was 
at that time capable of observation and memory "of 
events. Ogden Hoffman, who defended Robinson, 
delivered an address to the jury that for eloquence was- 



320 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

equal to any like essay; his delivery of "That poor 
boy! " by those who witnessed it will never be forgotten. 

It was currently charged soon after, and even pub- 
lished later, that a person who had lately embarked in an 
enterprise requiring money to advance it, became aware 
of the fact that a well-known citizen of wealth and posi- 
tion was in the house at the time of the murder; and that 
from time to time he levied blackmail upon him to the 
amount of thirty thousand dollars. 

June 23, the first trip from New York to Albany by 
a vessel using anthracite coal was made by the Novelty, 
in twelve hours. She bore a considerable company of 
gentlemen interested in the experiment, among them the 
managers of the Delaware & Hudson Company, the 
Collector of the Port, and Dr. Eliphalet Nott, whose 
invention it was that was in course of trial and proved 
completely successful. 

September 14, Aaron Burr died. It was charged and 
entertained that, prior to his challenge to Alexander 
Hamilton, he daily practised with a pistol at his residence 
in the Richmond Hill house. 

December 9, Miss Ellen Tree made her first appear- 
ance at the Park Theatre as Rosalind in "As You Like 
It," achieving a prodigious success, well deserved by this 
charming actress. She was a greater favorite than any 
woman ever seen on the Park stage, save Fanny Kemble. 
She remained for two years in this country; in 1842 she 
married Charles Kean, and in 1845 they were both here. 

Fernando Wood left the employ of Mr. Secor, then 
Fras. Secor & Co., and opened a three-cent liquor store 
at the corner of Rector and Washington streets. The 
Secors, Peter Seeley (a stevedore), and some other em- 
ployers of laborers, were in the habit of paying their men 
off in Wood's store, and in connection with this it is not 
amiss to note that the custom of employers on the river 
fronts paying their men in a grocery store was of general 






CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 321 

practice. It was charged against Wood, and never 
responded to, that when a man presented himself to 
receive his wages, he was surprised at being told that 
there was such and such an account charged to him for 
drinks. There was no appeal. It was a standing charge 
of the enemies of Wood, and he had many, that on one 
occasion Joseph Bunce, a man who had suffered by this 
one-sided way of keeping accounts, resolutely refrained 
from drink at Wood's bar for the entire week. When 
pay-night came and he presented himself, he was given 
the amount of his wages less seventy-five cents, deducted 
for drinks which were charged to him. There were 
many other and exceptionally severe charges made 
against Wood, but being ignorant as to their authenticity, 
I omit reference to them here. 

Thomas E. Davis purchased vacant lots in St. Mark's 
Place and vicinity, essaying to make it a fashionable 
quarter of the city, and at one time it appeared that he 
i had succeeded. He then originated and with the aid 
of I. L. and S. Josephs, Geo. Griffin, and others, formed 
an association for the purchase and improvement of the 
northeast end of Staten Island, at the junction of the 
Bay and the Kills, obtained a loan of four hundred and 
seventy thousand dollars from a bank, and termed the 
locality New Brighton. A large hotel and houses were 
built, but the association came to grief, and the property 
was sold out under a decree of foreclosure, and bought in 
by Mr. Davis for two hundred thousand dollars. 

Two notables of this period merit mention, the "gin- 
gerbread man" and the "limekiln man," both famous in 
New York. The former was an erratic of a very pro- 
nounced type, or a mild lunatic; clerically, though shab- 
bily dressed; who promenaded Broadway at a rapid gait, 
and apparently took his entire nourishment at a street 
pump, eating gingerbread and washing it down with water 
from the spout of the pump. He kept his supply of the 

TI 



322 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

bread in a coat pocket. The latter was another mental 
derelict of the human species, evidently a foreigner, who 
received his sobriquet from the circumstance of his usually 
sleeping in or upon a limekiln in East Fourteenth Street, 
and although his raiment and mien indicated extreme 
poverty, he was not known ever to have solicited alms. 
One morning his dead body was discovered on a lime- 
kiln. 

Such was the enterprise of New York that it was 
observed this year, on the anniversary of the great fire 
of 1835, that the whole burned district had been rebuilt 
in handsomer style than before. 

Chas. H. Marshall bought of Goodhue & Co. their 
interest in the Black Ball Line, and added new vessels 
of increased tonnage. Soon after, the Swallow Tail Line 
of Thaddeus Phelps & Co., and the Dramatic Line of 
E. K. Collins & Co., were organized and entered for the 
Liverpool trade. 

In this year the New York Society Library sold its $ 
building in Nassau, between Cedar and Liberty streets, 
and removed temporarily to Chambers Street. 

The house, corner of Church and Leonard streets, was 
leased to Thomas Flynn, an English comedian, who for 
ten years had been engaged here as actor or manager. 
He opened the house (thereafter known as the National 
Theatre) for a fall season, with William Mitchell, who 
now first appeared in New York, afterward to become 
famous, especially at his own Olympic Theatre, where the 
excellence of his burlesques and travesties brought him 
for a considerable time to the height of prosperity. 
Later, Mitchell failed somewhat, and he retired in 1850. 
He died a few years after this date, in poverty, though he 
had made much money. In October " La Bayadere " was 
produced under Flynn's management with Mme. Celeste, 
and had immense success. 

Many events of interest in the theatrical world occurred 






CORNELIUS W. LAWRENCE, MAYOR 323 

during this autumn, not least of which was Charlotte 
Cushman's first appearance in New York at the " Bow- 
ery " Theatre, as Lady Macbeth. Miss Cushman had 
proposed to be a public singer. She appeared first in 
concert, at the age of fifteen. Happening to sing with 
the Woods, they suggested that she should attempt the 
lyric stage, but after studying and essaying, her voice 
failed, and she abandoned the attempt. 

September 26, the "Bowery" Theatre was burned 
again; the fire arising, as was supposed, from burning 
wadding discharged among the scenery in progress of 
the play, "Lafitte, the Pirate of the Gulf," then just 
beginning a promising run. It was said that Hamblin, 
the manager, lost sixty thousand dollars by this fire. 

Philip Hone recites that in this year he sold his house, 
235 Broadway, lot 37 x 120 feet (next to the corner of 
Park Place), for sixty thousand dollars, having bought it 
fifteen years before (1821) for twenty-five thousand dol- 
lars. This is now given as an index to the variation of 
prices, in real estate on Broadway. The house was a 
three-story high stoop brick, with slant roof and dormer 
windows front and rear; a perfect type of a first-class 
house of the period, internally arranged as follows: 
Vault under sidewalk for fuel and cool storage; base- 
ment floor, front room, closets and kitchen without 
cellar; first floor, hall store, front and back parlors with 
closets and sliding doors between, stairway thrown well 
back and lighted by a rear window, doors of mahogany; 
second floor, essentially the counterpart of the first, 
doors of white pine; third floor, front, middle, and rear 
bedrooms, with one in hall; garret, two or three servants' 
rooms and a storeroom. A cistern in the yard to receive 
rain water from the roof, which was drawn out by a 
bucket and pole. Total absence of water-closets, bath- 
room, a vestibule door, and furnaces. In 1819 a relation 
of mine was offered this house for thirty thousand dol- 



324 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

lars; it was then occupied by Jotham Smith, not Jona- 
than, as given by Hone. 

Some time previous to this a Mr. Benjamin Brandreth 
advertised very extensively his " Brandreth's Pills," and 
this was the first exhibition or demonstration of a kind 
of advertising that has become general. It was so novel 
to the public that he and his nostrum became notorious. 
"Brandreth's Pills" became a byword. Later a man 
was charged with selling these pills under a counterfeit 
label, and the interest involved was held of such impor- 
tance that Charles O'Conor and Major-general Sandford 
were employed to plead for an injunction. In support 
of the alleged value of the proprietary right of these 
pills, it was claimed that they were effective in fully fifty 
diseases. 

1837, Orange (now Baxter) Street was extended from 
Grand to Broome Street. Fourth Avenue was widened 
forty feet to accommodate the tunnel for the Harlem 
Railroad, and to give air openings to it in the middle of 
the avenue. 

There was at this period one Chief of Police, Jacob 
Hays, at a salary of five hundred dollars per annum, 
with twenty officers. Ogden Hoffman, when District 
Attorney, related that on occasion of an extensive rob- 
bery of money, Mr. Hays, who justly enjoyed the reputa- 
tion of keen observation and exceptional shrewdness, 
while engaged in seeking the perpetrators, entered the 
reading-room of the Northern Hotel, corner of Washing- 
ton Street and Battery Place, and noticed among the 
occupants one who was reading a newspaper, but from 
the moment Hays entered, he did not remove his eyes 
from one part of it* from which Hays inferred that the 
man knew him, and was too much embarrassed at his 
presence to read. Whereupon he arrested him, and he 
proved to be the person sought for. 

January 2. The " Bowery" Theatre, rebuilt upon a 






AARON CLARK, MAYOR 



325 



lease of the ground from Hamblin, was opened shortly 
after this. " Sandie " Welsh, of the " Washington 
Lunch " (before mentioned), appeared here for the first 
and last time, it was said, on a wager, with an oration 
in Low Dutch (the vernacular of Northern New Jersey), 
in the character of the Flying Dutchman. 

The year opened with unfavorable business conditions, 
money being very scarce and tight. High prices for the 
necessaries of life prevailed; flour was $12 to $15 per 
barrel, and wheat imported from abroad $2.25 per bushel. 
What the prices of meats were I do not now recollect; 
but I well remember that upon inquiring the price of a 
head of cabbage, I was told two and six pence (31.25 
cents). A public meeting was held to devise some 
remedy for the distressful cost of living, but the effect of 
natural laws remained unchanged by this device. On 
February 10, a meeting of workmen and laborers out of 




JACOB HARSEN'S HOUSE, TENTH AVENUE AND SEVENTIETH STREET 



326 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

work convened in the City Hall Park, and as it was 
asserted that provision-dealers were holding back supplies 
for higher prices, and it was publicly known that Eli 
Hart & Co., 175 Washington Street, had in their posses- 
sion large quantities of both wheat and flour, the fact 
was so deprecatingly referred to by the speakers that the 
passions of the crowd became aroused, and at the close 
of the meeting it proceeded to the store of the Messrs. 
Hart, broke open the doors, which had been closed, and 
threw wheat and rolled flour out of the doors and win- 
dows. Later in the day the crowd was dispersed by the 
police. After this, they proceeded to the store of S. H. 
Herrick & Co., 5 Coenties Slip, where they in like man- 
ner broke in and commenced destruction, with a view to 
produce abundance, but were driven out by the police. 
This was known as the Flour Riot. 

March 15, Daniel Webster made what might be called 
a State visit to New York. Throngs greeted his arrival 
at the Battery and accompanied him to his hotel. 
A great meeting gathered to hea'r his oration at Niblo's 
Saloon in the evening, and Mr. Webster held a reception 
the next day in the Governor's room in the City Hall. 

A famous dinner was given on March 30, at the City 
Hotel, by booksellers to authors and other persons of 
fame. 

In this year August Belmont arrived here as the agent 
of the Messrs. Rothschilds and established a banking 
house here ; he filling the vacancy consequent upon the 
failure of the Messrs. L. and S. Josephs. 

Meantime the business outlook was growing more and 
more dark. Failures were multiplying. On March 28, a 
meeting of merchants invoked the support of the United 
States Bank of Philadelphia. On April 26, a similar 
meeting, " to devise suitable measures of relief," was held 
at Masonic Hall, which appointed a committee to visit 
Washington and secure action by the Government. The 






AARON CLARK, MAYOR 327 

panic and consequent financial distress that prevailed 
bore upon our savings banks, as evidenced in the circum- 
stance that the Greenwich and Bowery banks were so 
drawn upon that they were compelled to dispose of 
some of their invested securities at a loss, and in ad- 
dition to appeal to the Bank for Savings (later the 
Bleecker Street) for assistance, which in its own defence 
it was compelled to give, to protect itself from a run in 
the event of the others closing their doors. Runs on the 
savings banks began; failures increased beyond count ; 
on May 8, the Dry Dock Bank, and on the loth all the 
New York banks, suspended specie payments. At this 
time these banks numbered twenty-three, having twenty 
millions of capital. The suspension, in which all the 
banks of the country followed, was a relief from the long- 
continued stringency and strain of affairs. Under the 
new conditions, however, great shrinkage in the value of 
New York real estate had occurred ; sales of "specula-" 
tive " lots being made in April at scarce more than one- 
fifth of their cost in the preceding September. 

This very general and prolonged depression in finance, 
commerce, manufactures, and trade, originated as far 
back as 1832 in the closing of the United States Bank in 
Philadelphia and its branches throughout the Union, and 
the transfer of the Government deposits to State banks, 
while the increase and extension of our population required 
additional banks as well as the filling of the voids caused 
by the withdrawal of the United States Bank and its 
branches. In consequence of this, a great number of 
small banks with smaller capital were chartered, and 
even in remote places ; which, from the insufficiency of 
their capital and the amount of notes they put in circu- 
lation at points distant from their location, were termed 
and known as "wild cats." Such a system of finance 
involved the inevitable consequence, and in the interval 
from 1832 to this year the result of the system was 



328 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

developed, and a general crash in trade, credit, securi- 
ties, real estate, and manufactures ensued. 

June 12, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who had spent 
some time in New York, sailed for Europe in conse- 
quence of the (ultimately fatal) illness of his mother. 

July 31, Dominick Lynch died abroad, a man much 
given to the arts and refinements of life, and long a 
general favorite in New York society. 

Late in August the Broadway Theatre on the east side 
of Broadway, near Walker Street, was opened the build- 
ing formerly known as the Euterpean Hall, and the 
Apollo Saloon. The enterprise was soon abandoned. 

September 13, another new theatre was added, which 
was destined ultimately to success, though at first it was 
unfortunate. This was the well-remembered Olympic, 
at 444 Broadway, built originally for W. R. Blake and 
Henry E. Willard, and first opened under their control. 
"This was a " drawing-room " theatre, in the best taste; 
presenting light and sparkling plays accordingly, with a 
company which counted the Blakes, G. Barrett, Mrs. 
Maeder, etc. ; yet, with every apparent element of suc- 
cess, the house was " ahead of the times," and in October 
the prices were reduced to fifty cents for the boxes and 
twenty-five cents for the pit. Shortly after this Blake 
abandoned the enterprise. 

September 4, Wallack opened the National Theatre 
(formerly the Italian Opera House) with "The Rivals," 
in which a strong stock company appeared, Wallack play- 
ing Captain Absohite. Henry Wallack was stage manager. 
It was noted in the newspapers that, for the first time in 
New York history, eight theatres were open simultane- 
ously. The consecutive performance of pieces at that 
time and for many years was rarely attained, the popula- 
tion of the city and the presence of strangers not being 
equal to the occasion. 

James W. Wallack was again at the Park Theatre in 



AARON CLARK, MAYOR 



329 



the years 1832 and 1834, and in this year he was manager 
of the National Theatre at Church and Leonard streets, 
which was burned in 1839. He appeared at the Park 
Theatre in 1843-44. In 1852 he assumed the management 
of Brougham's Lyceum in Broadway (the old Wallack's 
Theatre) and at this house ended his career as actor. He 
removed to the " new Wallack's " (now the Star Theatre) 




THE FIRST STEAM LAUNCH 
DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED AT U. S. NAVY YARD, NEW YORK 

Length 35 feet, beam 4.25 feet, and depth 3 feet. Engine 4x12 inches. 

Wheels 3-5 feet 
B oiler ) horizontal fire tubular. Scale i2oth part 

in the autumn of 1861, and there made his last appear- 
ance before the curtain with a speech of thanks at the 
close of the season of 1862. He died on Christmas Day, 
1864. 

The election of this year resulted in a Whig triumph 
in New York, and a great jubilee occurred on November 
22. November 29, one of the greatest of political din- 
ners was given at the Astor House to John Bell of 
Tennessee, at which Daniel Webster made a speech, 
beginning at two in the morning. 

The first steam-launch was designed by and constructed 
under the direction of the writer in this year, at the 
New York Navy Yard, and named the Sweetheart. On 
her trial trip and several succeeding, she was hailed and 
saluted by the bells of passing steamboats, and by ch'eers 
from people who rushed to the ends of the piers to 
witness the novel sight. She attained a speed at the rate 



330 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of 8.5 miles per hour. The engine was subsequently 
transferred to the first U. S. Naval School, then at 
Philadelphia. 

November 27, a meeting of delegates from banks of 
several States, called to discuss the question of bank 
resumption, began its sessions. It was largely attended, 
and on November 30 resolved to resume on July i, 1838, 
or earlier. December 2, the convention adjourned to 
April, 1838; then to take further and decisive action. 

The nucleus of the now immense railroad and steam- 
boat and steamer expresses appeared in the enterprise 
of William F. Harnden, who under the suggestion, as- 
sistance, and auspices of James W. Hale, this year 
commenced the personal bearing of parcels and 
executing commissions between this city and Boston, 
and from this modest enterprise arose the Harnden 
Express ; to be followed by the American, Adams, 
United States, etc. 

It was in this year that Consul Gliddon came here from 
Egypt, wearing a moustache, when the practice was first 
looked upon with any favor, and then only by a few. A 
gentleman from whom Mr. Gliddon procured some 
machinery for the Pacha of Egypt remarked to me, 
" What a fine fellow he is ! but what a pity he should 
wear a moustache! " 

E. E. Morgan & Son's Line to Liverpool, which 
they had established about 1823, was increased to 
twelve ships, one of which, the Philadelphia, built by 
Christian Bergh in 1832, was described by the Commercial 
Advertiser as having a piano on board and a physician. 

It was about this period that the German families had 
so increased in number that their custom of dressing a 
" Christmas Tree" was observed. So novel was the 
exhibition that it evoked much comment. I have a vivid 
remembrance of my going over to Brooklyn of a very 
stormy and wet night to witness the novelty. 






AARON CLARK, MAYOR 331 

The New York Historical Society was this year 
removed from Remsen's Building, in Broadway, to the 
Stuyvesant Institute. 

From this time the Park Theatre began to lose its 
supremacy, and never regained it. The younger public 
fancied new scenes and methods, and indeed those who 
now remember that time may be pardoned for thinking 
that Wallack had then the best stock company ever 
gathered in this city. 

September n. The elder Vanderhoff appeared for the 
first time under Wallack's management, and continued 
playing tragedy against Forrest at the Park. Vander- 
hoff was counted second only to Macready, in the digni- 
fied, grand, heroic style of acting; he retired from the 
stage in 1859 and died in 1861. 

Charlotte Cushman in the fall of this year was leading 
lady at the Park. Miss Cushman's later history, and the 
well-won admiration and respect she ever enjoyed, need 
not be recounted here. 

Mme. Caradori Allan appeared at the Park during 
this season in English opera, or opera in English. 
Her first appearance was as Rosina and was a great 
triumph. 

In October the Fourth Avenue railway tunnel above 
Thirty-second Street was opened to travel. Subse- 
quently the line was extended down the Bowery, 
from Prince Street to its present terminus at City Hall 
Park. 

Bennett, in the Herald, in referring to Coney Island, 
proclaimed it as an objectionable resort, being sandy, 
clammy, and fishy, and that Bath was a much pref- 
erable resort. He also proclaimed Gilbert Davis as 
the Governor of the Island, and later was in the 
habit of referring to Governor Seward as his " small 
potato highness," and Horace Greeley as "a galvanized 
squash." With many of his readers the designation of 



332 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Seward and Greeley were held to be temerity, with others 
independence. 

In October, 1833, James P. Allaire had constructed in 
Water Street, a short distance east of Jackson Street (site 
now included in the Corlears Park), by Thompson Price, 
a builder, a four-story house designed for many tenants. 
It was the first house constructed proper or exclusively 
for tenants in this city. It is what is now termed a 
"single-decker," that is, but one suite of rooms on a 
floor. 

Houses then occupied by two or more families were 
those of the ordinary construction. 

As the vote of this State was held by the Whigs to be 
essential to the success of Mr. Harrison, every oppor- 
tunity that offered to attack Mr. Van Buren, and even 
some that did not, was availed of or published to dis- 
credit him and his administration with the people, as 
evidenced in the following: 

A representative in Congress from Pennsylvania, after 
dining with the President (Van Buren), attacked him and 
the administration for its extravagance as evidenced in 
the display of gold spoons (silver gilt) he had seen at the 
President's table. So widely spread was the charge that 
it proved a very damaging element in the approaching 
election, and the member was universally known as 
"gold spoon Ogle." The result of this was far in ex- 
cess of what those who first spread the recital and 
charges anticipated, and when one reflects upon the 
wonderment of the people of the extreme border States 
and the comparison they daily drew between their own 
iron or pewter spoons and gold, coupled with the cease- 
less repetition by the political papers of charges of uni- 
form extravagance which they were taxed to meet, 
one should not be surprised on being informed that the 
cry of "gold spoons " was a controlling element in the 
result of the canvass. 






AARON CLARK, MAYOR 333 

The opposition to President Van Buren was manifested 
in a like manner as it had been to President Jackson in 
the issue of tokens representing the "Treasury of the 
United States " being maintained on the back of a tor- 
toise, representing the " Fiscal Agent," and on the 
obverse, a jackass and the legend, " I follow in the steps 
of my Illustrious Predecessor" (see page 334). 

The manner of lighting dwellings of all kinds, public 
halls, and theatres, previous to about 1832, was so differ- 
ent and attended with so many difficulties and inconven- 
iences, compared with the facilities we now avail ourselves 
of, that it is worthy of record. Thus : the instruments of 
illumination were oil lamps and spermaceti or tallow 
candles. The lamps required attention to the trimming 
of their wicks and to guard them from smoking, and the 
candles required repeated snuffing and would occasion- 
ally run or drip, as it was termed, frequently involving 
damage thereby, as in ballrooms, dancing parties in 
dwellings, etc. ; as such places were illuminated by 
chandeliers with a great number of candles therein, 
some one or more of which would drip, and fortunate 
were the parties who did not receive drops of spermaceti 
upon their dresses. I have a very vivid recollection of 
this. 

In theatres, when it was required to darken the stage, 
the footlights were lowered below it, and when, as in the 
representation of "The Phantom Ship," the greatest 
practicable obscurity of illumination was required, 
opaque hemispheres were lowered over the chandeliers 
pendent from the sides of the upper boxes, and then 
closed. 

The Macomb's dam was authorized by an Act of 
the Legislature in 1813 for a term of forty years, and 
completed in 1816 (see pp. 78-79-115) and although it 
was provided in the act that the dam should be so con- 
structed as to admit of the passage of boats and vessels, 



334 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



yet it was not, and a suit was instituted by a Mr. Ren- 
wick to have the obstructions to a free passage removed, 
and a dam constructed to admit of the passage of vessels 
with masts. His suit was successful, and the defend- 
ant removed one abutment and the dam between three 
others. 




CHAPTER XVII 

1838-1839-1840. AARON CLARK, 1838 AND 1839, AND 

ISAAC L. VARIAN, 1839 AND 1840, MAYORS 

1838. EARLY in January it was learned that the Penn- 
sylvania packet-ship had made a passage hence to Liver- 
pool in fifteen days. 

April 22, the steamer Sinus, Captain Roberts, R. N., 
arrived from Liverpool, being the second steamer to cross 
the ocean ; the following day the Great Western, Captain 
Hosken, Lieutenant R. N., arrived, having made the pass- 
age in 12 days and 18 hours. Of course these arrivals 
caused great excitement here ; especially was the Great 
Western a centre of interest from her proportions, then 
termed " stupendous " ; being 234 feet in length, and 1604 
tons registry, with engines of 450 horse-power. On April 
27, the city authorities, with a large company of gentlemen, 
visited the vessel in a procession of barges under com- 
mand of Captain Stringham, U. S. N., and were shown 
the wonders on board and refreshed by a collation, at 
which I was present. The departure of the Great West- 
ern, on May 7, was the occasion of a great popular dem- 
onstration on land and water. 

February 18, the Bowery Theatre was burned for the 
third time. The fire, which broke out before day, was 
said to have been set alight in the carpenter's shop in the 
third story of the building. 

In this year the building known as the Tombs, in 
Centre Street, was erected; the stone taken from the old 
Jail, with granite from Maine. 

The tonnage of vessels constructed at the seven ship- 
yards in the previous year amounted to 11,789 tons. 



336 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

The House of Refuge, which stood upon ground now 
part of Madison Square (see page 166), was destroyed by 
fire; and soon after the necessary new structure was 
finished and walled in, on the block of ground bounded 
by First Avenue, Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth streets, 
and the river. 

Wm. L. Rushton, who opened a drugstore at 81 Will- 
iam Street in 1828, associated with him in 1830 Wm. L. 
Aspinwall. They also opened a store at no Broadway, 
and in this year they embarked deeply in the morus multi- 
caulis enterprise, in which they realized a large profit, 
but continuing their connection with it, suffered deeply 
when it collapsed, alike to the South Sea Bubble and the 
Tulip craze, which, both in inception, progress, and result 
it much resembled. Mr. Hegeman, the druggist, was a 
protegt of theirs. 

About this year there was published in an evening 
newspaper, in the list of deaths, that of Professor James 
Renwick, LL.D., who bore his painful illness with " more 
than Christian fortitude," and on the following morning 
the professor was surprised and amused at the reading of 
his own obituary and of his " exceptional fortitude " ; but 
some of His friends, in arriving at his home to attend his 
funeral, were the more surprised at his reception of them. 

The resumption of specie payments had now been 
accomplished. An adjourned meeting of bank represen- 
tatives, convened on April 1 1 in New York, had resolved 
to resume on January i, 1839, DUt tne New York banks 
resumed on May 10 of this year, and all the others were 
compelled by public opinion to follow this example 
July i. The Bank of Commerce was founded this year. 

The two works of Jas. Fenimore Cooper, at this time 
lately published, "Homeward Bound " and "Home as 
Found," were the subject of reprobation in the press and 
privately, the author being supposed to show an unpa- 
triotic temper in them. Present-day readers of these 






AARON CLARK, MAYOR 



337 



books will understand the ground of this supposition, 
but they will perhaps conclude that a travelled American 
might write them without treason against his country. 

Art Street (now Stuyvesant) was widened in this year. 

Richard Riker, residing in Fulton Street between 
Broadway and Nassau Street, had filled the office of Re- 
corder of the City and County for periods since 1812, 
aggregating twenty years. He was universally respected 
as a clear-headed and upright judge. When the question 
of introducing water into the city was discussed, he dis- 
sented from the general opinion as to the necessity of 
such action, and cited in support of the goodness and 
sufficiency of the Manhattan water, then in use in some 
streets, that he drank a tumbler of it every morning. 
For this he was criticised, caricatured, and lampooned 
for many years after. 

In sentencing culprits he was apt to remark, they 
" must suffer some," and the frequent repetition of this 
was taken up by the people and it became a byword. 
Some time previous to this, in consequence of a contro- 




RIKER HOUSE, SEVENTY-FOURTH STREET, BETWEEN AVENUES A AND B 



338 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

versy arising from a duel that had occurred between 
De Witt Clinton and John Swartwout, Robert Swartwout 
challenged Riker, and they fought on the duelling-ground 
where Hamilton fell soon after. Riker was wounded. 

May. In this month " La Petite Augusta" (Williams) 
first appeared at the age of twelve in "La Bayadere." 
This was an astonishing child, the most remarkable of 
juvenile dancers, who was compared on even terms with 
her full-grown sisters. 

February 19, Mary C. Taylor first appeared in a named 
part at the " Bowery." In 1840 she was at the Olympic, 
where she remained (chiefly) for nine years. She was the 
Lize of "A Glance at New York," and became one of the 
greatest favorites ever seen on our stage; in fact, "our 
Mary," as she was called, was a popular idol, and well 
deserved her favor for the excellence she showed in her 
saucy parts, and the virtue of her private character, 
which made her thoroughly respected. Miss Taylor 
married and retired from the stage in 1852; she died 
in 1866. 

September 17, Charles Matthews (the younger) and 
Mme. Vestris (Mrs. Matthews) first appeared at the Park 
Theatre. Much was expected of them, and our public 
experienced a proportionate disappointment. Neither 
were the artists pleased with the outcome of their adven- 
ture, and they returned to England much dissatisfied. 

In November a very heavy deficiency was discovered in 
the accounts of Samuel Swartwout, the late collector of 
the port, who had engaged the public money in specula- 
tions during the "flush times." So widespread was the 
indignation at the treachery of Swartwout, that to steal, 
rob, or default, was for many years after expressed as 
"Swartwouting." 

December. The city was surprised in reading of the 
sudden departure for Liverpool of Wm. M. Price, the 
United States District Attorney. He had been a zealous 



AARON CLARK, MAYOR 339 

and effective partisan of the administration of General 
Jackson, and an ardent supporter of Mr. Van Buren. 
His remark upon rising to address a meeting in Tammany 
Hall, during the first canvass for mayoralty, was for a long 
period referred to, and frequently quoted. The Whigs, 
elated by their success in the previous campaign, were 
confident, and the Democrats were correspondingly dis- 
couraged. It was a dark, stormy night, the rain falling in 
torrents; and when Price, who was seated on the plat- 
form, arose, and his greeting subsided, he opened with : 
"My friends, we have seen a darker night than this." 
The effect was electrical; it was received as a presage of 
victory ; darker nights had been seen, the worst had 
passed, and Mr. Lawrence was elected. 

1839. The arsenal in Madison Square was destroyed 
by fire. 

The Society for Founding an Institution for the Blind, 
which Dr. Samuel Akerly had essayed to organize, from 
1831, completed the buildings on Ninth Avenue, between 
Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth streets. 

Ice-boxes or refrigerators were for the first time intro- 
duced in the markets. 

February 4, Wm. E. Burton first appeared in New 
York at the National Theatre. He was destined to 
have an important share in the dramatic affairs of the 
city. 

At this time plays founded on the works of Dickens 
were coming in favor, before the dramatizations of Scott 
and Cooper had well begun to disappear. February 7, a 
stage version of "Oliver Twist" was produced at the 
Park, in which Charlotte Cushman offered her remarkable 
delineation of Nancy. 

April 30, occurred the semi-centennial celebration of 
Washington's inauguration; the exercises under the care 
of the New York Historical Society. There was an ode 
by Wm. C. Bryant, and ex-President John Quincy Adams 



340 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

delivered an oration. The literary exercises were fol- 
lowed by a great dinner at the City Hotel. 

In May arrived at this port from England, under 
canvas, a small iron steamer, the Robert F. Stockton, of 
thirty tons burthen. The Great Western completed on 
June i the shortest western passage then known, thirteen 
days. July 20, the British Queen arrived on her first 
voyage. She was then the largest steamer ever built; 
length over all, 275 feet; 2016 tons; 500 horse-power. 

In July, President Van Buren visited New York and 
was received with a great military parade, which 
escorted him to Castle Garden, where he heard and 
replied to an address. 

Trinity Church was demolished in this year, to make 
way for the present structure. 

The New York and Harlem Railroad Company com- 
pleted its double track from Harlem to the City Hall. 

The entertainments of the Common Council in the 
" tea room " were very much enlarged from those of 
earlier days both in direction and scope, and early shad, 
strawberries and cream, and like delicacies could be 
found there in advance of their appearance at the tables 
of private citizens; on this point I write from experience. 
In more recent times, as from 1840, the status or standard 
of the representatives of the people deteriorated both in 
dignity of person and integrity of character, and the 
injudicious admission of " friends," supporters, con- 
tractors, lobbyists, etc., induced not only a laxity of de- 
corum, but the introduction of wines, liquors, and segars, 
and very soon the weekly meetings in the " tea room" 
partook so much of the character of orgies that public 
opinion became aroused, and upon the election of Mr. 
Harper, he proceeded forthwith to suppress them, and 
succeeded not only in saving such an expense to the city, 
but in arresting a practice which occasionally partook 
more of the character of a debauch than an assemblage 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 341 

of representatives of the people, to whom their civic 
rights were confided. 

May 6, the Bowery Theatre, rebuilt by Hamblin, 
was opened. Mrs. Shaw then appeared first at this 
house, where she continued long to be a favorite. June 
13, John 'Gilbert was first seen in New York here, as 
Sir Edward Mortimer. 

May 21, the dancers M. and Mme. Paul Taglioni 
were brought out at the Park. The former was a 
brother to the famous danseuse Marie Taglioni. His 
wife was esteemed inferior to none but Elssler. Never- 
theless, they did not attract great houses. 

May 30. A portion of the estate of the late Henry 
Eckford was sold at auction this day. Mr. Eckford pur- 
chased the property, consisting of a large country house, 
stables, shed, etc., fronting on Seventh and Eighth 
avenues, Twenty-first to Twenty-fourth streets, in Nov- 
ember, 1824, from Clement C. Moore, for sixteen thou- 
sand dollars, 22.6 acres. At that time the surface of 
the ground was low and a great portion of it wet, so much 
so that the location as a residence was unhealthy. So 
wild was this purchase considered that friends of Eckford 
would jocosely ask him about his cow pasture, and if he 
intended to raise frogs, etc. 

It was here that his daughter died, and his son John, 
who had just returned from travel abroad, lost his life in 
essaying to save her. She was ill with fever, and at night 
a spark from the fireplace before which she was reclining 
ignited her clothing; she rushed into her brother's room 
and he burned his hands, in endeavoring to quench the 
flames, to the extent that he died from tetanus. 

This sale gave an average of a little in excess of 
fifty dollars per city lot. 

Henry Clay visited the city in August, being esco'rted 
down Broadway from the steamboat landing at Ham- 
mond Street to the City Hall Park, where he was wel- 



342 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

corned, and delivered an answering speech. On the 
next day he held a reception in the Governor's room of 
the City Hall. Mr. Clay was at this time a favorite 
candidate for the pending nomination of the Whigs for 
the Presidency, which was given by the Harrisburg 
Convention, in December, to General William Henry 
Harrison. 

August. In the latter part of this month it was re- 
ported by the captain of an arriving vessel that a long, 
low, well-manned, suspicious schooner was seen by him 
off the New Jersey coast, and as the report in detail and 
authority warranted action on the part of the comman- 
dant of the naval station here, Commodore Ridgely 
ordered the steam frigate Fulton, Captain M. C. Perry, 
forthwith to proceed to sea in search of the reported 
craft. 

The Fulton, after running down the New Jersey coast 
as far as Shark River, returned and anchored off the 
Hook, awaiting daylight, and when it appeared, she 
went seaward in a southeast course, and returned late 
in the evening to the Navy Yard. 

This manner of proceeding on the part of Captain 
Perry was wholly at variance with the views of his 
officers (among whom I was one), who argued that if 
the vessel was of the character supposed, her captain 
would avoid the vicinity of Sandy Hook as being too 
near the presence of a revenue cutter or a naval cruiser; 
but would proceed to the south coast of Long Island to 
intercept an European vessel. 

A few days after (the 3ist) Lieutenant Gedney, in 
command of a United States Coast Survey schooner in 
Long Island Sound, captured the unresisting vessel near 
Montauk Point, where she had been run in to procure 
water. Upon investigation it appeared that her name 
was the Amistead, and that she had left Havana for a 
neighboring port with a number of slaves who had been 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 343 

just landed there, and that the slaves rose upon the 
crew, murdered some, and took possession of the vessel, 
sparing the two passengers, one of whom had been in 
command of a vessel and could navigate. He was 
ordered to take the schooner to Africa, but he deceived 
them and directed her here. 

Upon the authorities in Connecticut taking possession 
of the vessel, Lieutenant Gedney having delivered her 
there, a body of fanatics, not satisfied with the emanci- 
pation of the slaves, conspired to arrest the two pas- 
sengers who had purchased the slaves and succeeded in 
throwing them into prison, the result of which, added 
to what was to be done with the freed negroes, the 
vessel, etc., engendered a complication of questions of 
rights and duties, that seriously, involved the amicable 
relations of the United States and Spain. 

In illustration of the difference in the frequency and 
convenience of the method of travel compared with that 
of a later day: I in 1835 was required to visit Rahway, 
N. J., and taking the most expeditious route, I left in a 
steamboat from the foot of Battery Place, and after reach- 
ing Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth) I took stage to Rahway, 
and on my return, as the steamboat had returned to New 
York, I was compelled to take a private conveyance to 
Newark and from there I reached the city by stage. 

September 7, Charles Kean appeared at the National 
as Hamlet, after a long absence. On the afternoon of 
the 23d, while the stage was set for his Richard, the house 
was burned. The fire involved the adjoining French 
Episcopal Church (du Saint Esprit), the African Metho- 
dist Church opposite, and a Dutch Reformed Church 
in Franklin, near Church Street. The French Church, 
built in 1822, was a handsome marble structure. Wallack 
transferred his company to Niblo's, beginning there on 
October i, when Vandenhoff, as Hamlet, appeared for the 
first time since his return from Europe. 



344 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Unfavorable business conditions prevailing in this year 
were heightened in October by the suspension of the 
Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, and of all the 
Philadelphia banks on the succeeding day. 

November 27, died Samuel Ward, head of the great 
banking-house of Prime, Ward, King & Co. Mr. Ward's 
death, at the early age of fifty-five, was deeply felt in 
business and social life. 

September n, the New Chatham Theatre, built for 
Flynn & Willard on the south-east side of Chatham 
Street between James and Roosevelt streets, was opened. 

October 5, fire, aided by a fresh wind, destroyed the 
block between Pearl and Water streets south of Fulton, 
besides fourteen buildings in Front Street, some in Water 
Street below Burling Slip, and even some in Fletcher 
Street. 

In December the daguerreotype was first introduced 
in New York, exciting great interest and wonder. 

December 14, died Robert Lenox, of Scotch parentage 
and birth, a successful merchant and a shrewd investor 
in land in the upper portion of the city. In the War of 
the Revolution his father was the keeper of the dreaded 
prison-ship at the Wallabout, Brooklyn, and Robert was 
an individual assistant to his father, enjoying the highly 
remunerative position of supplying the prisoners with 
such articles as were not included in their meagre and 
ill-served rations. 

Thaddeus Phelps, who lived at 109 Liberty Street, was 
connected with Fish & Grinnell in their line of Liverpool 
packets, and was well known as a citizen and a merchant. 
He usually expressed his views very decidedly and with 
emphasis. On one occasion of his riding in an omnibus 
on Broadway, an entering passenger trod on his foot, 
whereupon he used an expression not to be found in 
Lord Chesterfield's letters ; and another well-known 
citizen, who was seated opposite to him, remarked, 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 345 

"Tush, tush, don't swear, friend Phelps; " to which the 
latter replied, " Never mind that; you pray and I swear, 
but neither of us means anything." 

St. George's Society of New York, which was organized 
in 1786, was incorporated in this year. It assists needy 
English residents of this city or vicinity. Special atten- 
tion given to destitute and helpless women and children. 

The old or Boston Post Road from the corner of 
Twenty-third Street and Broadway to Harlem Bridge was 
closed in this year. 

Captain John Ericsson arrived here, and in 1842 he de- 
signed the steam machinery and propeller for the United 
States steamer Princeton, which was being constructed at 
the Navy Yard at Philadelphia, under the general direc- 
tion of Captain R. F. Stockton, United States Navy. 

December 9, Mitchell leased the Olympic, and opened 
it as a low-priced house for amusing entertainments. 
The house became the fashion, and a steady prosperity 
followed it for ten years. The bills for that time com- 
pose a marvel of variety. In April of the next year 
Mitchell brought out his "La Mosquito," a most amusing 
travesty of Fanny Elssler's "Tarantula," and an almost 
equally funny burlesque of her " Cracovienne "; these 
were very famous for a time. 

December, 1839. New Chatham Theatre was recon- 
structed and opened as Purdy's National Theatre. 

1840. The tunnel of the New York & Harlem Railroad 
at Yorkville was completed in this year. 

Business was greatly depressed during the earlier 
portion of the year, and the growing political excitement 
in the famous " Singing Campaign " of " Tippecanoe and 
Tyler, too " prevented much revival. In March, the 
house and lot No. n Broadway the lot thirty-nine feet 
front, by twenty-seven feet rear on Greenwich Street, 
and nearly two hundred feet deep was sold by auction 
for only fifteen thousand dollars. Nevertheless, as will 



346 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

be seen, the life of the town went on with much of its 
usual enjoyment. 

January. Captain Waite of the packet ship England, 
arrived here by the Northern route from Liverpool, by 
which he claimed to have shortened his passage from ten 
to fifteen days, and he showed his previous passages and 
his last to be as follows: 1837, thirty-five days; 1838, 
thirty-nine days, and the last, twenty-six. 

January 13, the steamboat Lexington on Long Island 
Sound, hence to New London, at half-past seven in the 
evening took fire from sparks from the furnaces of her 
boiler, projected by the fan blower upon cotton bales 
stowed in a gangway. She burned and sank at three in 
the morning, and out of one hundred and fifty passengers 
and a crew of twenty-five, but four were saved. She 
carried also sixty thousand dollars in specie. 

The indignation of the public in consequence of the 
neglectful manner in which the cotton was stowed, the 
insufficiency of life-saving instruments, and the great loss 
of life, was increased by the publication of the fact that a 
schooner commanded by Captain Terrell was within a few 
miles of the disaster, and in no wise essayed to approach 
and aid, although the wind was blowing so fresh that he 
could have readily arrived at the scene of the disaster in 
time to be of service. 

January 27, the public stores and a dozen others in 
Front and South streets, near Dover, were burned, the 
loss on the public stores alone amounting to a million 
and a half. 

January 30, died Stephen Price, who for many years 
was a joint lessee of the Park Theatre, first in 1807 with 
Thomas Cooper, the tragedian, and late with Edmund 
Simpson. Price and Cooper built and resided in the two 
elegant houses corner of Broadway and Leonard Street, 
afterward occupied as the Carlton House; then taken 
down and replaced by the stores of E. S. Jaffray & Co. 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 347 

Price at one time was lessee of the Drury Lane Theatre 
in London. The association was Simpson & Price, the 
former being manager of the Park Theatre here, and the 
latter engaging actors and performers abroad. William 
M. Price, referred to on page 189, was a brilliant 
criminal lawyer, and subsequently district attorney here 
under General Jackson. He had a brother Benjamin, 
who one evening, in company with his wife at the theatre, 
took offence at the conduct of a British officer seated in 
an adjoining box; whereupon he entered the box where 
the officer was seated and wrung his nose, and upon the 
officer's declaring that he did not intend to offend the 
lady, Price in effect replied that he meant no offence 
either, and thus the matter rested for a while; but the 
absurdity of the officer's action becoming known at 
Montreal, where he was stationed, he was informed by 
his mess that he must challenge Price or suffer being put 
in Coventry. He then commenced the practice of pistol- 
shooting, and soon after returned here, challenged Price, 
and shot him through the head at the first fire. He then 
took a boat and boarded a vessel leaving for Europe. 

Some years after this, the captain who had been active 
in causing the return of the officer to challenge Price 
visited here, and Stephen Price learning of it, called and 
addressed him: " I have come to insult you. Is it neces- 
sary for me to knock you down?" " Not at all," was 
the reply. They and their seconds left the Navy Yard 
in company in one boat, proceeded to Bedlow's Island, 
and Price killed the captain at the first fire. 

Later Price, taking offence at the attention of a lieuten- 
ant in the Navy to his wife, challenged him; they met at 
Weehawken, and Price was wounded in the leg. This 
lieutenant was the son of a gentleman who had been 
a well-known soap manufacturer. Cooper, the former 
partner of Price, had married the sister of one of the 
brightest women of the day, who from that connection 



348 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

with Price was inimically disposed to the lieutenant, 
and when he, upon an occasion when she was present, 
was referring to his late cruise in the Mediterranean, and 
the pleasure he took in a land excursion there, she re- 
marked, " You must have felt quite at home in Greece." 

This same lady, in company one evening when a gentle- 
man whose father had been a saddler gave a recital of 
the misdeeds of an actor, and erroneously charged them 
to her brother-in-law Cooper, remarked, "You have put 
the saddle on the wrong horse." I knew her intimately, 
and enjoyed her friendship. 

January 31, a party of roughs on the East Side 
entered private houses and a German restaurant, 101 
Elizabeth Street, when they broke tables, etc., and were 
fired upon by the keeper and his friends; killing one 
and wounding four others; the excitement consequent 
upon which led to a repetition of rioting for several 
subsequent nights. 

February 24, Mr. and Mrs. Brevoort, at their house 
on Fifth Avenue, entertained their friends and some 
acquaintances at a fancy ball ; it was the social event of 
the period, had been for a long while in preparation, and 
was pronounced a great success. A reporter of the 
Herald (Attree), on the application of the editor, was 
permitted to be present, appearing in costume. 

This spring the first registry law for the City of New 
York came into force. The property qualification for 
voters was abolished under it, and with enlarged suffrage 
the quality of candidates for public office suffered a 
decline. Up to this period the men who took an active 
and prominent part in politics were of a very different 
class from those who came later. The Democrats hav- 
ing a place of meeting, Tammany Hall, and a chartered 
organization meeting monthly, their principal men were 
brought more into public notice than their oppo- 
nents. Their party was supported by many well-known 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 349 

citizens, as Saul Alley, Stephen Allen, Gideon Lee, 
Walter Bowne, George Douglass, Campbell P. White, 
Chas. Graham, Cornelius W. Lawrence, Daniel Jackson; 
while a prominent representative of their opponents was 
Philip Hone. 

Gradually, from this time, the elder men withdrew 
from active participation, and younger and more ambi- 
tious men supplanted them, and finally, in the race for the 
emoluments of office, consideration of either the avowed 
principles of the party or the claims of its defenders was 
set aside. 

While the registry law was pending in the Legislature, 
the Whigs held a meeting (March 27) in Masonic Hall 
to express their approbation, but members of the adverse 
party were there and interrupted the proceedings by 
their opposition. Being once expelled they returned in 
greater force, and a considerable disturbance ensued. 

By this time the "log cabin" and "hard cider" 
political watchwords were in full cry. Some persons 
having reproached the Whigs with selecting for Presi- 
dential candidate a rude man who lived in a log cabin 
and drank only hard cider (though in fact General 
Harrison was of an old Virginian family used to the 
graces of good breeding), the Whigs had made good use 
of the averment, turning it to their own uses, and con- 
trasting their candidate's plain living with the alleged 
luxury of Van Buren in the White House in a manner 
that wrought greatly upon the popular mind. In June 
they built a great log cabin in Broadway near Prince 
Street, which was dedicated to campaign purposes by a 
great meeting, and cider was provided in barrels; whence 
the campaign was universally known as the " Log Cabin 
and Hard Cider Campaign." 

May 2, 1840, associated with Thomas McElrath-, H. 
Greeley & Co. issued The Log Cabin simultaneously in 
this city and Albany, twenty thousand copies of which 



35 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




CONTOIT'S GARDEN, BROADWAY, BETWEEN LEONARD AND 
FRANKLIN STREETS 

were disposed of in one day; then editions summing 
eight thousand were printed and the type distributed, 
reset, and another edition of ten thousand printed, all of 
which were sold. It was published at 30 Ann Street. 

May 3, Fanny Elssler, a famous opera danseuse, ar- 
rived in the Great Western, and appeared at the Park 
Theatre before an enormous audience on May 14. The 
grace of her movements was positively fascinating. Her 
debut was in La Cracovienne; the pit arose en masse and 
cheered her. A gentleman at my side, within two 
minutes after her appearance, remarked: "I have got 
my dollar's worth already." Her engagement continued 
for fifteen nights, and 'the house was crowded for the 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 351 

entire period. A plain account of the attention and 
interest aroused by Elssler, not only in New York but 
throughout the country, would scarcely be credited at 
this day. She remained for little more than a year in 
this country, and upon her return to Germany married 
and left the stage. 

Late in June the Richmond Hill Theatre was reopened, 
transformed into a spacious saloon with concert stage, 
a change handsomely effected. The place was now 
named the Tivoli Gardens. The concerts did not attract 
the public, and after a short time vaudeville, at reduced 
prices, replaced them with better success. 

In May a daguerreotype portrait was shown to me ; it 
was one of the very first that had been taken here by the 
representative or agent of Mr. Daguerre ; it was on a 
copper plate, silvered and polished, which having been 
bathed with the required chemical, the reflected rays 
from the sitter were received upon it. When finished 
and placed in a position proper to receive the light, 
some faint lines could be discovered, provided your eye- 
sight was good; but in consequence of the sitter being 
necessitated to face a bright light for several minutes, 
the stress upon the eyes was such that a proper delinea- 
tion of the features was impracticable. This was the 
operation in its primitive form, and in view of the suc- 
cessful development of it, it may be truly said, nihil simul 
est invent um aut perfectum. 

John C. Stevens had built at Cape's shipyard, Williams- 
burgh (now Brooklyn, E. D.), the schooner yacht On-ka- 
hy-e from the design of his brother Robert L. Her 
futtocks were U-shaped, thus forming a deep but wide 
keel, operating like a long but shallow centre-board; 
being in fact an approach to a "fin keel " of the present 
time (1895). In 1842 she was purchased by the United 
States Government and employed in the Coast Survey. 

In June the first Cunarder arrived at Boston by way of 



352 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Halifax. It was supposed that making Boston the 
terminus would seriously interfere with the passenger 
business of New York, and Boston itself went wild with 
joy over the prospect of such rivalry; but as it turned 
out, some natural law, like that which makes great rivers 
run by great cities, brought the ships here, after all ! 

Cunard Line. As the steamers of this line were the 
first to bear a regular and Government Mail between 
England and this country, a detail of its early operation 




BRITANNIA 

is of interest, and worthy of record for future reference 
and comparison with capacities and speed. 

In this year Samuel Cunard of Halifax, associated 
with Messrs. Burns & Mclver of Glasgow, organized the 
British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., 
under a contract with the British Government for a bi- 
monthly mail between Liverpool, Halifax, and Boston, 
with four steamers, for eighty thousand pounds sterling 
per annum. The steamers were the Britannia, Acadia, 
Caledonia, and Columbia; the first leaving Liverpool on 
Friday, the 4th of July, and arriving at Boston in fourteen 
days and eight hours, to the great delight of the Bos- 
tonians and their anticipation of commercial advance- 
ment in consequence, she having attained an average 
speed of eight and one-half knots per hour, with an ex- 
penditure of thirty-eight tons of coal per day. Whenever 
any question arose as to the present or future prospects 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 353 

of the cities of Boston and New York, we were uni- 
formly met with, " We have a line of Liverpool steamers," 
which was held to settle the question of commercial 
superiority. 

A great public meeting of the Whigs convened on 
September 28, in Wall Street, by the Merchants' Ex- 
change, where Daniel Webster delivered an elaborate 
oration lasting more than two hours and a half. This 
was a notable event in New York political history, 
Webster being at or near his very best in this oration, 
and the mass of his auditory being enormous for the 
time ; it was carefully computed at 15,000 persons, the 
city's population being but 312,000. At the same hour 
a Democratic meeting was held in the Park, which also 
was very largely attended, so that " overflow" gatherings 
were organized and the crowd was addressed by four 
orators at once. At the distance of more than half a 
century, this campaign of 1840 remains distinctly pre- 
eminent for height and breadth of popular interest. At 
the New York election on November 4, in one city 
election district, with a registry of 670, 664 votes were 
polled. Yet even under such circumstances, the total 
vote of the city amounted only to 43,000. 

The general election continued through several days 
in the different States, which fact, together with the 
exceeding closeness of the vote in some quarters, delayed 
news of the final result and intensified the public excite- 
ment to a point almost unbearable. Considerable rioting 
and disorder occurred in New York, and it is almost 
literally true to say that, so long as the event was in 
doubt, nothing else was in men's minds; so that for 
several days business and pleasure were alike suspended, 
and no subject but the election was seriously mentioned. 

The Marquis of Waterford, on a second visit to -the 
country in this year, became notorious for his riotous 
proceedings at night; his several appearances before 

12 



354 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Police Justice Hopson were so frequent, and of such a 
character were the proceedings, that the public became 
much interested in them. His lordship's fame in noc- 
turnal riots, in all the cities he visited, was notorious; 
and strange as it may appear, in all his conflicts with 
watchmen, he never received an injury but on one occa- 
sion, and that in Norway, and then, instead of being the 
aggressor, he was defending a woman when he was 
attacked by watchmen and wounded by them with their 
peculiar instrument of defence and attack, a bill-hook at 
the end of a pole. 3 

August, Charlotte Cushman made her last appearance, 
and was much missed after her departure. August 31, 
Tyrone Power reappeared on his second visit. Septem- 
ber 28, Mrs. Wood was heard again (in " Sonnambula") 
after four years' absence. She was greeted with en- 
thusiasm and calls for " Wood," in spite of the untoward 
experience of that gentleman in former years. Under 
this encouragement he appeared on October i, and was 
well applauded. 

September 30, Hackett, who had been known only as a 
comic actor, appeared as Lear. 

December 21, John Braham, the English vocalist, who 
had come here with a great reputation, but with voice 
old and worn, made his first theatrical appearance at 
the Park in the " Siege of Belgrade." After which 
the theatre was closed for a brief interval. Within a 
week it reopened in a new guise, with the stage and 
pit connected; making a large apartment, in which 
promenade concerts were given, at twenty-five cents 
admission. 

The Bowery, at this period, had become perhaps the 
most interesting street in the city, and so it remains, 
though with characteristics much altered from those of 
1840. That date is about the mid-period of its peculiar 
notoriety as a native product, before the vast incursion of 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 355 

foreigners had given it its present cosmopolitan distinc- 
tion. The " Bowery boy " (or b'hoy) and " Bowery gal " 
were at the height of their development as represented 
on the theatrical stage, with not overmuch exaggeration, 
by Chanfrau in the well remembered types of Mose, 
Sikesy, and Lize. The " Bowery boy" flourished in his 
own proper time, and departed, never to return. He 
was the outcome of conditions that will not exist again, 
being primarily a product of the volunteer fire depart- 
ment system, and appearing in an age when the com- 
parative smallness of the city allowed marked social 
peculiarities to become prominent, which would be lost 
amid the mass of people and the whirl of things in which 
all forms of singularity now appear and pass, with but a 
moment's notice and comment. "Bowery boys" were 
not wholly admirable beings, but they had some qualities 
that were admirable, and were much to be preferred to 
any later varieties of the genus " rough." In their com- 
bats they were content with nature's weapons, avoiding 
murderous implements; they were mostly men of regular 
occupations and industry, the Boweryism being only 
their form of amusement in leisure hours; they were 
comparatively sober, and cultivated certain traits of 
manliness, especially a respect for women, which was 
traditional with them; and they were intensely American. 
Even the more strictly professional " bruisers," or prize- 
fighters, " Bill" Harrington, a man of mark in his time, 
"Tom" Hyer, and John Morrissey, "Bill" Poole, at a 
somewhat later day, and others of their class, had points 
of comparative respectability. 

The Bowery remains, and remains an absorbing study; 
but the Bowery of old remains no more than the Old 
Bowery Theatre, long since changed to the Thalia, and 
now become a Jewish theatre, with its front covered by 
bills of the play in Hebrew. It remains no more like the 
Bowery of 1840 than that was like the eighteenth-century 



356 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

country road. Traces of that condition my curious 
readers may find in the old milestones still remaining, 
one nearly opposite Rivington Street, another between 
Sixteenth and Seventeenth streets (in Third Avenue); 
the third appears to have been destroyed, but the fourth 
is in Third Avenue just above Fifty-seventh Street. 
These are all on the west side of the way stout stones, 
deeply incised with advice to the travellers of the dis- 
tance "to City Hall, New York." They are commonly 
plastered over with handbills, which should be forbidden; 
and surely every care should be taken to preserve in 
place, unharmed, these memorials of the past. 

For years I passed through this street almost daily, 
and maintained the habit of visiting it occasionally at 
night, by way of a novel amusement. It would be 
enough perhaps to stroll there for an hour or two of an 
evening; watching the thronging East Side engaged in so 
many modes of money-getting, and such diverse diver- 
sions; wondering what manner of lives they are which 
these things nurture or destroy, and guessing at the 
"subtle ways" such people "keep, and pass, and turn 
again." An observer might be content thus to study the 
Bowery by bits on sidewalks or in shops; but it would be 
unwise for him to omit the theatres, where the popula- 
tion is massed for his leisurely regard. Formerly it was 
of course the Old Bowery Theatre where the quintessence 
of East Side character was concentrated. Its conver- 
sion, and the growing specialization among audiences, 
have left no place like in all points to the famous old 
house; still any Bowery gallery may contain an audience 
of the same general description as that which filled the 
upper tier of the Old Bowery on my last visit to it, a 
generation ago. 

It was on a Saturday night, chosen because Saturday is 
a " gala night " in the vast quarter for which the Bowery 
is the chief avenue of traffic and pleasure; a night when 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 357 

wages, being just paid, are to be spent, and the long rest 
before Monday's work shall begin invites to multiform 
and deep indulgence. Passing through still and deserted 
Broadway in the early evening, and then along Canal 
Street, in company with a friend, we came to the turbu- 
lent Bowery. The contrast was forcible. The Bowery 
seemed just waking up, its day the real day was be- 
ginning. Already the sidewalks seemed full, and as 
hasty suppers were despatched, more and more came to 
jostle along the ways. The shops were all alight and full 
of chaffering buyers; the many shows had illuminated 
their signs of glass and gas; the doors of the great 
Atlantic Garden swung to and fro incessantly. The front 
of the Old Bowery Theatre flared brightly amid a grove 
of flags as the evening's audience began to climb the 
well-worn steps, studied the broad displays of posters, 
besieged the cavernous entrance to the fourth tier, or 
simply loafed in every-body's way. Up and down the 
street flamed strong-smelling lamps of turpentine, light- 
ing the contents of the cheap stands, each one a centre 
of vociferous and eager trade. After a few minutes 
spent in the theatre to secure places where we could see 
the house to good advantage, we found, when we came 
out, that the roar of the street was perceptibly increased. 
The crowd had thickened, and the motion and confusion 
were greater. As we stood on the theatre steps regard- 
ing the liveliness of the scene, half a dozen fire-engines 
came by with the usual fierce clamor and headlong rush. 
If any thing were needed to complete the picture it was 
precisely this strong "effect" of the engines dashing 
through the crowded, gleaming street, amid the screams 
of women and the hoarse shouts of boys. 

We strolled up the street, past pungent odors, past 
fruit stalls and stands of the roast-chestnut men, "past 
shining shows of cutlery and spreads of trichinosial 
bologna carved to slabs of mottled salmon-pink, past 



358 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

drinking shops innumerable (now saloons Credat Judtzus 
Apella), " Cheap Johns " and policy-shops, pawnbrokers 
and cigar shops, displays of Bowery millinery and faded 
dry goods; until we came to a " Cheap John " of unusual 
glare and pretension. "Walk in, gentlemen," he cried, 
with swift and easy hospitality; "walk in and seethe 
only truly American and great Cheap John, the bene- 
factor of his country, the George Peabody of New York." 
This could not be resisted, so we walked in. The Cheap 
John cried his wares in a large high room hung about 
with an incongruous miscellany of goods, filled up across 
one end with much appearance of merchandise in bulk, 
with shelving along one side, in front of which was a 
counter enclosing a high platform upon which the Cheap 
John walked up and down, incessantly declaiming to a 
dense crowd. He was a short, stout fellow, unmistaka- 
bly "truly American " ; as unmistakably of the "bummer " 
class; with a great quantity of studied stock expressions, 
some vulgar, but all droll, besides not a little ready wit 
of the flash sort. It was give and take between him and 
his audience, the crowd commonly getting the worst of 
it. "Now, gentlemen," said the new Peabody, "the 
sacrifice will proceed. Who gives two dollars for a 
superb eight-bladed pocket-knife, the handle made of 
true father-of-pearl, with ends of solid silver an inch 
long ? Show me the man who gives it, and I will show 
you a fool. Why, we only ask a dollar and a half- 
examine the finish closely "here he made a feint to 
throw the opened knife among the crowd, whereupon 
some dodged. "Why, you needn't dodge," he said; 
" these knives are regular life-preservers, couldn't kill a 
man with one of them in the most savage and blood- 
thirsty fury; no chance of cutting your fingers with these 
knives nice reliable family article who'll buy ? Who'll 
buy a knife with all the merits of a knife and none of the 
failin's, such as accidentally cuttin' people. How much ?" 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 359 

I offered fifty cents. " Sold again ! " cried the Cheap John 
with dire emphasis, and every-body laughed. 

An invoice of wonderful stockings followed, " made in 
England for the Emperor of Siam, and stolen from his 
caravan at great risk," by agents of the Cheap John. They 
were started at two dollars for four pairs, and sold in 
great quantities at the rate of four pairs for fifty cents. 
Then came a sale of "changeable tarpaulin"; there 
seemed to me to be genius in the idea of a changeable 
tarpaulin. Some Germans coming in, and engaging in the 
talk in an innocent fashion, were badgered in bad Ger- 
man by the salesman, and roundly abused in English, of 
which they knew scarce any thing. "You wonder how 
we can sell so low," said the Cheap John. "Why, excep- 
tin' rent, nothin' costs us any thin' besides paper. Paper 
costs enormous, 'cause that's cash, and we use up lots of 
it for wrappers. But the things we wrap up, them we 
never buy on less than four months, and when the four 
months have passed, so have we we have passed on. 
That's how we can sell so low, and save your money be 
your best benefactors 'do good by stealth,' as the poet 
says. Don't go, gentlemen, going to have a free lunch 
at half-past ten [it was then about half-past seven] ; just 
brought in another dog for the soup. Look out for your 
watches, and pass your money right in here for safe- 
keepin'. There's a pickpocket just come in." 

So there was, sure enough, and a policeman led him 
away. When we left not with a policeman the orator 
was just assuring his public that his was "a great chari- 
table enterprise, the entire proceeds to be given to the 
poor." I have made selections from the Cheap John's 
eloquence; to report him at length would be to display 
his wit to greater advantage; but a report at length 
would involve corresponding increase of another dimen- 
sion, and become too broad for family reading. 

Coming down the Bowery, which had become a very 



360 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Babel, we went into the Atlantic Garden, a vast beer- 
hall, crowded as we entered, though it was yet early, 
with a company of all ages and both sexes. Some had 
made family parties and were enjoying meals of that sort 
that only German digestion can assimilate; some sat 
moody over solitary mugs, and there were many couples 
of men and women, and knots of men. Few Americans 
were in the company, which was nearly pure German. 
There were dense clouds of tobacco-smoke, and hurry of 
waiters, and banging of glasses, and calling for beer, 
but no rowdyism; rarely are there rows at the German 
places of resort, so they are less interesting than they 
might be to the student of humanity. 

It was well past the time of beginning when we 
returned to the Old Bowery Theatre, and crossing the 
worn and broken tiles of the vestibule passed within the 
" warm precincts "of the auditorium, captured a fugacious 
usher, and were conducted to our allotted quarter. The 
action of the play already had begun to involve its 
characters in mysteries inexplicable by the unassisted 
intellect. Issuing forth in quest of a house-bill, I was 
informed that they were all distributed. Enquiring then 
what was the title and drift of the drama, the humorous 
usher replied that he was blest if he knew. By dint of 
close application and much analogy, we determined that 
we were witnessing a version of the stock Irish play, in 
which a virtuous peasant-girl, and a high-minded patriot 
with knee-breeches and a brogue and an illicit whiskey- 
still, utterly expose and confound a number of designing 
dukes, lords, etc., who were assisted by a numerous 
family of murderers. 

One feature of the play was the worn device of con- 
founding the real action with imaginary action; the first 
act being of real life, and inducing the dream, which 
thereupon carried forward the story through complica- 
tions and woful horrors until a happy waking in the last 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 361 

scene of the fourth act rewarded the virtue that had 
never been tempted, and utterly blasted the plotting vice 
that never had existed. The incidents were many and 
exciting. The scene where the midnight murderers 
prepared a grave for their coming victim (an afflicted lady 
who is to be deserted by her husband at this spot), and 
are affrighted at their noisome task by anguishing 
groans of the patriot, mourning the lady's unfaithfulness 
to him, as he distils unlawful potheen among the rocks 
overhead, was chilling in its awful gloom; while nothing 
could be finer than the manner in which the patriot, dis- 
interestedly suffering his pots to boil over, came flying to 
the rescue of innocence over frightful pasteboard preci- 
pices and down deep descents of lumber, engaging the 
whole band of felons at once. "The combat deepens," 
thwack go the stuffed clubs, plunge the impossible dag- 
gers; the wounded ruffians reel and fall and struggle up 
again knee-high, discharging dreadful cuts at the legs of 
the deliverer. Those yet unhurt close in upon him, but 
only rip his machine-sewed shirt, receiving in return 
such fierce and telling blows that life departs from 
each in turn, till triumphant virtue takes one shuddering 
glance at success and faints in an agony of perspiration 
across the long-since-swooning body of the destined 
victim. 

Summary of six corpses and quasi-corpses in painful 
attitudes sudden effect of lime-light, and apparition of 
constabulary and red-coats (too late, as usual), as "the 
great green curtain fell on all," amid deafening shouts of 
" Hi ! " " That's too thin ! " and " Cheese it ! " from pit 
to fourth tier. 

We missed many of the points of this great drama, for 
the house was a study more interesting than the stage. 
We idled about somewhat, behind the seats of the 
balcony, with audible steps among thick-strewn peanut- 
shells. In the front lobby we met a man whom some- 



362 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

body had just "gone through," the check-taker and 
usher calmly comparing guesses concerning the offender. 
Clambering to the mephitic fourth tier, we watched, as 
long as untrained lungs could last in that atmosphere, the 
crowd of rough youth there compacted. Plenty of 
native sharpness was noticeable in speech and looks 
among those skyward seats, which doubtless contained 
also much native good, some of which would work itself 
clear in time and do something of account in the world; 
but the main expression of that crowd was of nursing 
vulgarity and vice, with an indescribable air of sordid 
ignorance and brutal, fierce impatience of all lovely, 
graceful, delicate things. 

Though a promenade was worth making, the house 
could be best studied from our box. The whole effect 
was more interesting than any detached portions, and 
this was all before us the pit and first tier below; the 
second tier meeting the box exactly at our level; over- 
head, the third tier, its thronging faces full in the flame 
of the gas; and, darkly above, the true Olympus of the 
gallery gods. There were no vacant seats. Steadily 
sloping upward from the footlights was lifted, row above 
row, the close-packed, stamping, shrieking, cat-calling, 
true Bowery crowd. The house contained a good 
number of women, rough-clad but of decent looks, some 
mothers of families with the families small and great to- 
gether, and a few " children in arms," which the Bowery 
rules did not forbid. I saw but two gloved women in 
the audience; they, by force of their attire I suppose, 
felt a certain application of the saying, noblesse oblige, 
since they went much out of their way to be agreeable 
to us, and were very courteous and hospitably minded 
indeed. 

Besides the proper and prevailing peanut, the specta- 
tors refreshed themselves with a great variety of bodily 
nutriment. Ham sandwich and sausage seemed to have 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 363 

precedence, being both portable and nourishing, but 
pork chops also were prominent, receiving the undivided 
attention of a large family party in the second tier, the 
members of which consumed chops with a noble persist- 
ence through all the intermissions ; holding the small 
end of the bone in the hand and working downward from 
the meaty portion. The denuded bones were most of 
them playfully shied at the heads of acquaintances in the 
pit; if you never have seen it done, you can hardly fancy 
how well you can telegraph with pork-bones when the aim 
is sure ; and if you hit the wrong man, you have only to 
look innocent and unconscious. 

The Bowery audience was by no means content with 
inarticulate noise; besides the time-honored, technical 
modes of encouraging the players, there was full and 
free communication in speech, sometimes a set colloquy 
with the actors which the audience counted on, and 
waited for with great expectancy. This the actors well 
understood, and when the Irish patriot had a line of 
particularly overpowering moral import, his sure way to 
make a point with it was to come down to the front, 
declaim it vociferously, and end by saying "Is that so, 
boys?" or "Don't you, boys?" or something of the 
kind, and then the acclaim and outcry were so loud and 
long that all babies in the house cried out the moment 
they could get a chance to be heard, which caused 
another terrible din, with uncomplimentary remarks 
about the infants, and "Cheese it!" again always this 
cry, which,, though it be, as I have learned, a highly plastic 
expression, yet, from the variety of its frequent applica- 
tion during the evening, must have come in sometimes 
with great irrelevance. 

The second play was a burlesque of " Don Giovanni," 
with Leporello s part given to the clown, an amusing 
fellow and clever acrobat. The chief part of the story 
was preserved, though there were many cuts and not a 



364 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

few additions. The players earned their money. The 
orchestra never ceased its swift, lilting measures, as 
though for some endless, preternaturally quick quadrille, 
and the action of the stage was allowed no resting-place 
until the whole was done; so, notwithstanding great lack 
of appliances by way of machinery for transformations 
and the like, the thing went well by virtue of constant 
action and the utmost possible rapidity. Shipwreck gave 
the clown opportunity for an extravagant swimming- 
scene, and when the Don kicked him out of a two-story 
window, his descent, clinging to the top of a ladder, and 
describing a great arc that landed him down by the foot- 
lights, was very skilfully made. The cream of the play 
was thought to be in the banqueting-scene, where the 
clown and an absurd old Irishwoman wrangled over a 
wash-bowl full of. macaroni. The by-play of this scene is 
not to be here reported, though it pleased the audience 
greatly. Scarce any of the humor was more relished by 
most of the spectators than the exquisite device of throw- 
ing the macaroni at the orchestra-players, and finally at 
the "pay-people" in the pit. It cannot be pleasant to 
be wiped across the face with a string of wet macaroni, 
and probably those who were thus distinguished did not 
enjoy it, but all the others did, and the upper tiers 
howled approbation like a great company of demoniacs. 
The statue came for the Don at last, and the clown was too 
well frightened to throw macaroni then, so the hero went 
for his waiting gin-and-water, with profuse accompani- 
ment of red devils and penny fire-works. When we came 
away at a quarter before twelve, the third piece, "The 
Babes in the Wood," was beginning, and the ridiculous 
heavy villains were just warming to their fiendish 
work. 

Since that evening young men have grown old, but 
still I have a clear image of the old theatre; the crowd, 
the air, the crackling peanuts underfoot, the strayed 






ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 365 

reveller with empty pocket, the chops and sandwiches, 
the courteous gloved young women, the raging fourth 
tier, and eager, bent looks of the rough faces ; the cease- 
less lilt and drone of the music sounds in my ears (a dab 
of macaroni on the neck of the contrabass). I hear the 
swish of the Don's rapier and the thump of the clown's 
posteriors on the stage ; the amusing strifes and murders 
take place again, and the "very tragical mirth." Indeed 
the single sensation of strangeness that comes from the 
absence of all familiar faces from among so many of 
one's own townspeople, was alone almost worth seeking. 

Tryon Row, subsequently closed, ran in front of the 
Staats Zeitung Building from Chatham to Cross (now 
Park) Street. Two fire-engines and a hook-and-ladder 
company were located upon it. 

Captain Schinley, R. A., who was in service at 
Waterloo, and was held to be over fifty years of age, 
with the connivance of the mistress of a young ladies' 
boarding-school in this city, married one of the pupils, 
not exceeding sixteen years of age, an heiress from 
Pittsburgh and of great wealth. The relative ages of the 
parties, the action of the schoolmistress, the great 
wealth of the bride, and the furtive manner in which the 
marriage was solemnized (if the word is applicable) by a 
police officer, with very restricted magisterial duties, 
contrived to arouse the animadvertence of the relatives 
of the bride and the entire community. Bennett of the 
Herald for a long time after frequently asked "Who 
married Captain Schinley?" until the delinquent was 
goaded into responsive action and the question ceased. 

The premises on Fifth Avenue between Twenty-third 
and Twenty-fourth streets were occupied by Corporal 
Thompson as a well-known and popular way-side house 
of entertainment, who continued there for several years ; 
the location being subsequently occupied by Franconi's 
Hippodrome (see 1853) and in 1858 by the Fifth Avenue 



3 66 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



Hotel. This was the stopping place of pedestrians 
or loungers. Gramercy Park, although designed several 
years earlier, was not laid out nor improved before this 
year. This pretty place owes its existence to the munifi- 
cence of the late Samuel B. Ruggles. 




CORPORAL THOMPSON'S, BROADWAY, SITE OF FIFTH 
AVENUE HOTEL 






CHAPTER XVIII 
1841. ISAAC L. VARIAN AND ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYORS 

JANUARY 30, there was given at the City Hotel a ball 
which was known as the "Young Men's," from the cir- 
cumstance that fathers of families were not permitted to 
subscribe to its cost. It was, in fact, a renewal of the 
"City Assemblies" held at the same place in previous 
years, which were not only well and fashionably patron- 
ized but were the delight of all who were enabled to 
attend. 

February 23, the ordinance regulating the fares of 
cabs, which had but lately been introduced, for one- 
horse cabs, two-seated, with a door in the rear, was 
enacted and approved. For one passenger one mile, 
twenty-five cents; for two, an addition of twelve and one- 
half cents; for one hour with privilege of two persons 
stopping at shops, etc., fifty cents for the first hour, 
and thirty-one and one-half cents after that. To Kings- 
bridge and back, all day, $3.50. 

March i, Power's last engagement. He last appeared 
March 9, and sailed on the loth by the luckless steamer 
President, never reaching any earthly port. 

March n, the Messrs. Glover of this city con- 
structed, under the design of Captain Ericsson, an 
auxiliary screw propeller bark, the Clarion, and upon 
a trial of her speed she attained seven and one-half miles 
per hour; which Commodore R. F. Stockton held to be 
such a success that he addressed the Secretary of the 
Navy, recommending the introduction of such a class 
of vessels in the Navy; which recommendation, coupled 



368 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

with the record here given, Led to the construction of 
the steamer Princeton by the department. 

April 3, Horace Greeley issued The Log Cabin as 
a weekly paper from No. 30 Ann Street, which had been 
extensively circulated for six months as a campaign 
paper in the previous year. 

As an editor, Horace Greeley was more generally 
known than any other; not only in this city, but through- 
out the United States. He was a powerful writer, bold 
and influential. His views on national politics were too 
deep and expansive to be restricted by a party and its 
expediencies. 

Thus, previous to 1860, he published and maintained 
that, "We have repeatedly said, and we once more 
insist, ' that the great principle embodied by Jefferson, 
that Governments derive their power from the consent 
of the governed, is sound and just; and that, if the Slave 
States, or the Gulf States only, choose to form an inde- 
pendent nation, they have a clear moral right to do so.' 
We have never said, nor intimated, that this is a right to 
be claimed in a freak or a pet. We do not believe we 
have never maintained that a State might break out of 
the Union like a bull from a pasture that one State, or 
ten States may; but we have said, and still maintain, 
that, provided the Cotton States have fully and defini- 
tively made up their minds to go by themselves, there is 
no need of fighting about it. Whenever it shall be clear 
that the great body of the Southern people have become 
conclusively alienated from the Union, and anxious to 
escape from it, we will do our best to forward their 
views." In a spirit of vaticination he wrote : " One thing 
has been settled by the experience of the last twenty 
years, and that is the moral impossibility of good munici- 
pal rule under the sway of any political party. Either 
the citizens who mainly pay the taxes must come to- 
gether and resolve to unite, without distinction of party, 



ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 



369 



in support of the honest, capable men, for responsible 
places in the municipality, or they must submit to be 
ruled by peculators and sharpers leagued with miscreants 
and ruffians. There is just this choice open to them." 

In the interim, and with the assistance of a loan of 
money from a friend, the publishing of the New York 
Tribune progressed ; the paper appeared on the icth of 




FIRST TAMMANY WIGWAM, CORNER NASSAU AND SPRUCE STREETS, 1798 

April, at one cent per copy, and with the following 
introduction: 

" The Tribune, as its name imports, will labor to 
advance the interests of the People, and to promote their 
Moral, Social, and Political well-being. The immoral 
and degrading Police Reports, Advertisements, and other 
matter which have been allowed to disgrace the columns 
of our leading Penny (cent) Papers will be carefully 
excluded from this, and no exertion spared to render it 
worthy of the hearty approval of the virtuous and refined, 
and a welcome visitant at the family fireside." It had an 
edition of five thousand copies, and Greeley reported, 
"We found some difficulty in giving them away." 

Chas. A. Dana and Henry J. Raymond were employed 



370 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

by the Tribune, the former at fourteen dollars and the 
latter at eight dollars per week. 

A steam fire-engine for the city was constructed by 
Paul Hodge & Co., but from an unwillingness on the 
part of the members of the Fire Department to adopt it, 
and from its not being a very decided success, it was not 
utilized. 

Much financial distress was felt during this year; con- 
fidence being undermined by renewed suspension of the 
banks in Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc. A further decline 
occurred in most of the favorite securities, the market 
value of which in this year was in many instances seventy 
per cent, less than the prices of 1838. 

In March the ex-President, Martin Van Buren, dis- 
placed by the inauguration of General Harrison, visited 
New York on his way to retirement, being received by 
a large company of citizens, and welcomed in a public 
address. On April 5, news was received of the death 
after very brief illness of General Harrison, the first 
President who had died in office. On receipt of this 
intelligence the city displayed all the signs of mourning, 
and observed with great solemnity the day of the fu- 
neral at Washington, business being suspended at noon. 

April 7, Mme. Restell, who later acquired a very 
unsavory reputation, was arraigned for the first time in 
Court under a charge of malpractice. 

April 10 commemorative exercises were performed 
under direction of the city authorities, most of whom 
had been political opponents of the deceased Pres- 
ident. Business was totally suspended on this day, 
the whole city was draped in black, and to the sound of 
minute-guns and tolling bells a vast procession (estimated 
to contain thirty thousand persons) moved through a 
storm of snow and rain from the City Hall Park by way 
of East Broadway, Grand Street, and the Bowery to 
Union Square, and then down Broadway to the Park 






ISAAC L. VARIAN, MAYOR 371 

again. The streets were thronged throughout the route, 
in spite of the weather, and the demonstration was the 
most impressive the city had ever witnessed. 

April 13, Wm. E. Burton, the comedian, assumed 
management of the National Theatre, opening with the 
spectacle of the " Naiad Queen." Miss Josephine Shaw, 
afterward Mrs. John Hoey, long leading lady at Wai- 
lack's, was of Burton's company at this time. Later, she 
was attached to Burton's Theatre, but retired from the 
stage upon her marriage in 1851. Early in 1854, how- 
ever, she reappeared at Wallack's. 

May, Booth appeared at the National for three nights; 
on the 29th the house was burned, with all its contents. 
An incendiary fire was discovered at 5 p. M., and, as it 
was believed, was extinguished. After the evening per- 
formance Burton and others made a search of the house 
for the sake of security, discovering nothing amiss; yet, 
toward seven in the morning, fire again broke out and 
almost at bnce grew beyond control. 

June 29, a vote was taken in the Board of Aldermen 
on the resolution of a committee to abolish the permits 
for the erection of booths around City Hall Park on 
the afternoon preceding the Fourth of July, which was 
negatived, and the erection of booths continued for a 
few years afterward. The existence of them, the peculiar 
character of their proprietors, and of the refreshments 
furnished, with the crowds that visited them, elicited 
the general remark upon their cessation, "The Fourth 
of July passed away when the booths around City Hall 
Park were taken away." 

This anniversary was very differently observed at this 
period from the custom of a few years later. Thus, our 
youthful citizens availed themselves of every opportu- 
nity to leave the city, and every countryman within a 
practicable distance of reaching it came with his family 
to enjoy the sights at the booths and the feu de joie of 



372 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the military in the Park, drink egg flip or spruce beer 
and suck oranges. 

Fanny Elssler, the danseuse, returned to the Park 
Theatre in June, during a brief summer season, where 
she repeated her former success, though by this time 
some of the newspapers had adopted a rebuking tone 
toward the ballet and its supporters. We add here the 
fact that Elssler during her stay in America gave a con- 
siderable sum out of her receipts in aid of the Bunker 
Hill Monument enterprise, which had languished since 
1825, and with her aid the Bostonians completed the 
structure, which was dedicated in 1843. Hence it was 
said that she " danced the top stone on to Bunker Hill 
Monument. " It is easy to fancy that box-office consider- 
ations prompted her action, but Elssler was probably as 
free from the advertising taint as is possible in the case 
of any public performer. 

June 3 the corner-stone of the new Trinity Church 
was laid. 

July, a general bankrupt law was enacted by Congress. 
By this time remarkable increase in foreign immigration 
had occurred; the influx being only 80,077 i tne period 
of 1820-29, but amounting for the years 1830-39 to 
343,517, including 158,672 of Irish. One result of this 
was the rise of the Native-American party, which in 1841 
nominated its first candidate for Mayor in the person of 
S. F. B. Morse, who received, however, but 77 votes. 

This year was also the date of a very considerable 
manifestation on the part of the teetotallers, or complete 
abstainers from intoxicating drink. 

July 12, Dr. William James Macneven, a well-known 
citizen, died. In August died Mr. Henry Brevoort, 
aged ninety-four. Broadway runs through the "farm" 
on which he lived, and which he bought for less than the 
present value of a single front foot of any lot now con- 
tained within its bounds. 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 



373 



August 28, August Belmont and Mr. Heyward of 
South Carolina, who had had an altercation at Niblo's 
Garden a few nights previous, met at Elkhorn, Md., and 
the former was seriously wounded. 

August 31, a meeting of citizens in favor of a repeal 
of the Bankrupt Law was called, at which Samuel J. 
Tilden and Nelson J. Waterbury were secretaries, and 
the names of such men as Stephen Allen, Campbell P. 
White, David Bryson, and John T. Brady were appended 
to the call. 

August 21, died Gideon Lee, Mayor of the city in 

1833-34- 

September 5, the favorite actor Barnes, who died at 
Halifax on 2oth ultimo, was buried, amid a great com- 
pany of sympathizing spectators. October n, "London 
Assurance " was given for the first time in America, 
Placide playing Sir Harcourt Courtly, and Charlotte 
Cushman, Lady Gay Spanker, in which part she made a 




BLOCK HOUSE, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THIRD STREET, 
BETWEEN NINTH AND TENTH AVENUES 



374 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

great hit. November 29, Mrs. Barnes retired from the 
stage after twenty-five years of service. 

In September the New York and Erie Railroad was 
opened from its original terminus at Piermont on the 
Hudson River to Goshen, Orange County, and a great 
company made an excursion over the line. 

September 19, a vessel bound for New Orleans was 
unexpectedly delayed after receiving the bulk of her 
cargo, and before the final closing of the hatches the 
mate became aware of noisome effluvia in the vicinity of 
a box, which arousing his suspicion, he opened it, ex- 
posing detached portions of a human body, which was 
subsequently ascertained to be that of Samuel Adams. It 
had been dismembered, salted, boxed, addressed, and 
shipped to a fictitious address in St. Louis via New 
Orleans. 

In the investigation instituted by the police it was 
learned that an occupant of an office adjoining that of 
Samuel Colt in Broadway became suspicious of Colt, and 
looking through the keyhole of the door between their 
offices, saw him wiping blood from the floor; which fact 
being communicated to the police, Colt was arrested, 
tried, convicted, and condemned. 

The Board of Assistant Aldermen passed a resolution 
that a roadway, twenty-five feet in width, should be 
opened in Ninth Avenue from Forty-second Street to 
its junction with Bloomingdale Road (Broadway and 
Sixty-fourth Street) at a cost not to exceed two thousand 
dollars, which the Mayor declared to be quite unnec- 
essary, as Eighth and Tenth avenues were opened. By 
being opened, the reader is informed that they were 
country roads. 

A Miss Lucretia Mott, who was a very popular lecturer 
on woman's rights, announced that women were capable 
and worthy of occupying the same situations as men. 

There was much complaint at this time regarding the 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 375 

delivery of the mails, and there was published in a 
Buffalo paper a request by the editor that any pas- 
senger, by stage or railroad, who had any newspapers 
with him and had no further use for them for two or 
three days, would please to send them to its office in 
order that it might be enabled .to give the news to the 
public. 

October 29 a meeting of Roman Catholics was held 
under the chairmanship of Bishop Hughes, the object 
of which was to obtain a portion of the public school 
fund for the benefit of their church; the attendants 
at the meeting being urged to vote only for candidates 
pledged to that course. This much increased the general 
feeling of alarm among our citizens which had been 
excited by former movements in the same direction. 

The progress of the uptown- movement appears in the 
consecration in November of the present Church of the 
Ascension, at Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street; the former 
church of this congregation having been in Canal Street. 

In November the new Merchants' Exchange (the pres- 
ent Custom House) was opened, the cost of building and 
ground being about two millions. 

November 26, the Prince de Joinville having ar- 
rived here on the i5th of September in command of 
the frigate La Belle Poule, and being at this time a 
visitor in New York, a ball was given in his honor by Dr. 
and Mrs. Valentine Mott, whose fine house was filled with 
the best of our society. A dinner was given to the 
Prince at the Astor House by the City authorities on 
the next day. 

It was held to be an exceptional one, inasmuch as the 
great number of dignitaries, officers of the Army and 
Navy, etc., invited, filled the capacity of the hall; and as 
there was not any space left for the usual hangers-on of 
our City Fathers, the entertainment was hailed as one 
worthy of the guests and the occasion. 



376 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

The building at the " Five Points," as the locality was 
termed, formed by the junction of Anthony, Baxter, and 
Park streets, built when its location was far in the 
country and known as the "Old Brewery," was a resi- 
dence for outlaws, degraded and vicious whites and blacks 
of various nations. Its history was associated with such 
crimes and murders that few persons ventured into its 
locality at night unless escorted by a police officer. Charles 
Dickens visited it, and essayed to describe it. The Five 
Points Mission now occupies this site. (See page 486.) 

There were other notorious locations within the 
boundaries of the " Five Points " and "Mulberry Bend," 
as Maloney's and "Bottle Alley," both of which were an 
" Alsatia " * or harbor for human derelicts, criminals of 
the lowest grade, and tramps. The former place was 
held to have been the scene of many murders, and 
regarding the latter, in the rear of the former with a 
connecting passageway, the Herald gave the details of no 
less than seven known murders. 

In this year the New York Society Library removed 
to its new building at the corner of Broadway and 
Leonard Street, and the New York Historical Society 
removed to the New York University building. 

In March, 1856, " The Ladies' Home Missionary 
Society" of the "Methodist Episcopal Church" was 
chartered; its object being to labor among the poor, 
especially at the " Five Points," provide fuel, clothing, 
etc., for them, to educate their children, and to maintain 
a school there. 

* In the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, Whitefriars, adjacent to tbe 
Temple, London, was known as Alsatia, and it had the privilege of a 
sanctuary, except against a writ of the Lord Chief Justice or of the Lords 
of the Privy Council ; and as a result it was the refuge of the perpetrators 
of every grade of crime, debauchery, and offence against the laws. The 
execution of a warrant there, if at any time practicable, was attended with 
great danger, as all united in a maintenance in common of the immunity 
of the place. 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 



377 



November 18. Colt was to be hanged this day; he was 
married in his cell to Caroline Henshaw by the Rev. Henry 
Anthon. At 4 p. M., on his cell being entered, he was 
found to have committed suicide by stabbing himself 
with a dirk knife. Simultaneously with this discovery a 
fire broke out in the Tombs. The coincidence of the 




CLAREMONT. BROADWAY, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THIRD STREET, 
AND ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH AVENUES 

day of expiation and the fire induced the opinion with 
many that the fire was not accidental, and that, in the 
confusion consequent upon its occurrence, some of the 
prisoners, aided by friends, might have escaped. 

It has been further alleged that with the connivance of 
the coroner, and with a jury not one of whom was cogni- 
zant of Colt, a body other than his was shown to them 
and that Colt was allowed to pass unobserved out of the 
Tombs, and that he has been recognized since in California. 

The interest manifested in this case was without prec- 
edent, and efforts to save Colt were made by the Rev. 
Henry Anthon, David Graham, Robert Emmett and his 
brother, and many others. 



378 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

November 21, an official return for a large part of 
the vote at the late election in the State, and an estimate 
for the balance, gave to the Abolition party but six thou- 
sand votes. 

Dionysius Lardner, LL.D., the eminent English writer 
on physics, who in a public lecture had advanced the 
impracticability of oceanic navigation by steam, arrived 
here for the purpose of giving a series of lectures in the 
principal cities of the Union. As he was not as familiar 
with the construction of the American marine engines as 
he desired, he was pleased to address and visit me, and I 
aided him. He was an exceptionally lucid lecturer, was 
ill received and only fairly patronized here, but both 
well received and patronized in other cities. The 
impression left upon me from my association with him 
was not such as to lead me to cultivate any further 
acquaintance. 

November 15, Alderman Abraham Hatfield introduced 
to the Board of Aldermen a resolution suggesting the 
expediency of revising the market laws so as to permit 
butchers to sell fresh and salt meat in any part of the 
city; as under existing laws no one but an occupant of 
a stall in one of the public markets was allowed such 
privilege. 

Until the claim of the market butchers of having the 
exclusive privilege of selling meats, and that only in the 
public markets for which they paid a tax, was disputed 
by the ''shop butchers," as they were termed, and 
supported by the general public, meats and vegetables 
could only be obtained in the public markets. The 
claim of the market butchers was defended by them for a 
long while, as instanced in the case of a Mr. Salter, a 
butcher, who in December was indicted and convicted of 
selling meat in a shop, and fined one hundred dollars 
and costs. It availed not, for the public supported the 
shops and the market men gave up the contest. 






ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 379 

In evidence of the necessity of such a change, I, at a 
distance of exactly one and one-tenth of a mile from the 
nearest public market, now purchase meats, vegetables, 
and fruits near to my residence. Well might it be 
quoted, Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in Hits. 

There is another feature in our business relations 
worthy of notice. Corner stores, wherever they existed, 
were as a practice occupied by the Irish as groceries, 
where a bar was maintained. Upon the advent of the Ger- 
mans the Irish were gradually but uniformly displaced by 
them, and the Irish in turn replaced them with liquor 
stores, erroneously and absurdly termed "saloons," in 
which enterprise they were, upon the introduction of 
lager beer, joined by the Germans. 

After the election in November it was ascertained that 
a number of Whig partisans had hired in Philadelphia 
and transported here a great number of men, ostensibly 
plumbers and pipe-layers; but for the sole purpose of 
voting for Whig candidates in wards where their votes 
would "do the most good." The names of several well- 
known citizens were given as connected with the enter- 
prise. The Democratic papers dwelt upon the act and 
termed the perpetrators "pipe-layers"; which term was 
for a long while applied to them and to the party, and 
is still in current use to denote concealed and indirect 
methods of political or other action. 

James B. Glentworth was held to be the instrument by 
which the scheme was operated, and on the 2ythof January 
of the following year he was indicted under seven sepa- 
rate complaints for misdemeanor in furnishing money 
wherewith to pay cost of transportation and maintenance 
of the parties he obtained. In consequence of some 
alleged informality in the indictments six of them were 
demurred to, and a court annulled them. Upon the re- 
maining one he was arraigned and tried, and on the 3oth 
of May the jury failing to agree (five to seven) it was dis- 



3 8o 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



charged, and on June 2 he was surrendered by his bail; 
but obtaining other, and after a second trial had been 
ordered and much argument made, the further prosecution 
on October 10 was ultimately dropped, and on November 
24 he was discharged. December 2, he issued an address 
to the public in which he exposed the operation, acknowl- 
edged himself to have been the agent, but indignantly 
transferred the onus of the transaction to those who had 
suggested the work and furnished the money. 

In this year a commission of registry of three members 
was first appointed, who received the applications of 
persons desirous of voting at the next election; and, if 
they were decided to be qualified their names were duly 
registered. 




HEAD OVER WINDOW IN WALTON HOUSE 



CHAPTER XIX 
1842. ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 

THE business stringency continued this year, with 
securities much depressed, trade stagnant, and city real 
estate at the lowest point of salable value it had reached 
for many years. 

The Cunard steamer Britannia arrived at Boston, 
bringing twenty-five days later news from England. 
This same vessel, although one of the first class of her 
day, would not now be of sufficient dimensions and speed 
to be chartered for the transportation of cattle. 

The average of nineteen passages from Liverpool to 
Boston via Halifax, and deducting time there, was four- 
teen days and ten hours, and on January 20, Charles 
Dickens, with Mrs. Dickens, arrived in * her. It would 
be difficult to convey to my readers of later generations 
a sense of the excitement caused in the simpler society 

* In her, not on her, which latter expression is universally published 
in our daily papers ; and how such an inappropriate term could have 
been adopted can only be explained by the analogy that before the 
advent of steam navigation on the Western rivers, and the construction 
of railroads ; the transportation of crops, etc., and even of passengers, 
was; effected on rafts, borne by the current of the rivers. One was very 
properly said to have arrived on a raft ; hence, when steamboats were 
introduced, the expression was continued. One coming by railroad 
might with equal propriety say he arrived on a railway car. 

During the Mexican War, upon the arrival of Major-General Scott 
and his staff at Vera Cruz, it was published throughout the Union that 
he and they had arrived there on the Massachusetts. Now, from my 
knowledge of the vessel, I fail to see how they could have been accom- 
modated on her, that is above deck, and if they were not wholly 
accommodated there, they did not arrive " on her." In other words, 
the expression is inapplicable and a vulgar localism. 



382 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of that period by this visit. Dickens had then published, 
of his more important works, the "Pickwick Papers,'* 
"Oliver Twist," "Nicholas Nickleby," "The Old 
Curiosity Shop," and " Barnaby Rudge." These were 
as familiar in this country as in England; great novelists 
were rare sights here; and mere curiosity joined with 
a feeling of real personal attachment to induce evi- 
dences of interest and regard which, to speak truly, were 
a little beyond proper measure. 

Some of our leading citizens united in a letter of wel- 
come to the novelist while he was yet in Boston, inviting 
him to a public dinner. Almost immediately afterward a 
considerable meeting at the Astor House, presided over 
by the Mayor, determined to add to the dinner a grand 
ball at the Park Theatre; a letter of invitation, signed by 
all present, being despatched to Boston by a private hand 
for delivery personally. The Journal of Commerce pub- 
lished the following : 

They'll tope thee, Boz, they'll soap thee, Boz, 

Already they begin ; 
They'll dine thee, Boz, they'll wine thee, Boz, 

They'll stuff thee to the chin. 
They'll smother thee with victuals, Boz, 

With fish and flesh and chickens ; 
Beware, Boz, take care, Boz, 

Of forming false conclusions, 
Because a certain set of folks, 

Do mete thee some obtrusions, 
For they are not the people, Boz, 

These tempters of the cork, 
No more than a church steeple, Boz, 

Is Boston or New York. 

The ball occurred on February 14, the stage and pit 
of the theatre being floored over for dancing. The 
decorations of the house were wholly composed of scenes 
from the works of Dickens, and upon a small stage 
erected for the purpose were displayed in intervals be- 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 383 

tween the dances tableaux vivants composed after the 
incidents of his different novels. The ball was attended 
by about twenty-five hundred persons; and in some in- 
stances subscribers to the ball, who were prevented from 
attending, sold their tickets for forty dollars. The 
dinner was given on February 18, at the City Hotel, 
with Washington Irving in the chair. Many private 
attentions also were cheerfully paid to Mr. and Mrs. 
Dickens, who sailed for home on June 7. The 
"American Notes," published in the fall of this year, 
were commonly (though perhaps improperly) considered 
to be an ill return for hospitality so lavish. To this 
feeling the appearance of " Martin Chuzzlewit," in the 
next year, added (and more justly added) a new bitterness. 
In the midst of their wrath, however, people smiled when 
remembering the advice attributed to Mr. Tony Weller 
by Mr. Dickens: that Mr, Pickwick should escape from 
the Fleet prison in a hollow pianoforte and take pas- 
sage for America, after which in due time he should 
" come back and write a book about the ' Merrikins ' as '11 
pay all his expenses and more, if he blows 'em up 
enough." 

Mr. Robert C. Winthrop relates of Mr. Dickens that, 
before he reached Washington, he had accepted invitations 
to dinner to an extent that precluded his acceptance of 
an invitation from both the President and ex-President 
Adams. The latter, in anticipation of meeting Dickens, 
had, at his daughter-in-law's suggestion, procured a copy 
of the " Pickwick Papers," but could not, as he said, pro- 
ceed beyond a few chapters, remarking that while the 
author had a wonderful faculty of description, the inci- 
dents portrayed were not worth describing; adding that 
" there was no novel like 'Tom Jones.'' If instead 
he had said "Gil Bias," there are many like to myself 
who would have agreed with him. 

Mr. Winthrop further relates that Dickens wrote to 



384 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Mr. Adams that he and his wife asked the privilege of 
coming to luncheon the following day at two o'clock. 
Accordingly an elaborate lunch was provided, but not 
only did Dickens and his wife come late, but before 
the meats had been removed they arose, with the plea 
that they had to dress for dinner at the house of an 
employe of the State Department, and the luncheon 
was broken up. 

As some mitigation of Dickens's conduct on this and 
some other occasions, it was advanced that he had been 
led into the infelicity of "previous engagements" by 
officious friends. On the other hand he evidenced a 
preference for the company of newspaper men and re- 
porters, and the flattery he had received at Boston and 
New York induced a degree of brusquerie and way- 
wardness even in the company of men entitled to his 
respect. 

Copies of Dickens's "American Notes " were received 
from England, and his ill-natured and unjust criticisms 
and but partial commendations aroused a very general 
feeling of indignation and humiliation with those who 
had been in anywise connected with the complimentary 
manner in which he had been received. 

I met him on his second visit here, and although I 
breakfasted in company with him, I declined an introduc- 
tion, notwithstanding I am an enthusiast when I refer to 
some of his works. 

Mr. Dickens's visit was measurably disappointing; we 
did too much for him and his lady; they did not appre- 
ciate the honor bestowed on them, and overrated their 
importance. When in Washington they were charged 
with a neglect of etiquette amounting to incivility. 

It must be added that on the subsequent visit of 
Mr. Dickens, at the Press Dinner given to him in April, 
1868, just before his departure, he made a graceful 
and feeling statement in the nature of an apology, or 






ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 385 

even a recantation, which he engaged to have ap- 
pended to every copy of the offending works so long as 
he or his representatives should retain control of their 
publication. 

January 19, the Registry Law for the city was repealed 
by an act of the Legislature. 

In February the Herald claimed to have attained a 
daily publication of 27,890 copies. On the 2d, the Gen- 
eral Bankrupt Law was enacted by Congress. 

February 8. Public sentiment was sO adverse to the 
operations of stock-brokers that Recorder F. A. Tall- 
madge, in his charge to the Grand Jury, invited its 
attention to their objectionable practices. 

The Atlantic Mutual Insurance Co. was organized 
by several merchants with a subscription of one hundred 
thousand dollars, and Walter R. Jones was elected 
president. In 1860 it made a scrip dividend of thirty- 
five per cent., and had assets amounting to $6,646,292. 16. 
and 1894, forty per cent, and assets, $11,340,731.85. 

February 12. The City Despatch Post was this day put 
in operation. Letters or parcels under two ounces, three 
cents; under eight, six cents. It was known as the 
Penny Post. 

Referring to a file of the Evening Post for a date which 
I had forgotten, I noticed its publication of the list of 
unclaimed letters in the Post-office. This was a practice 
of the period before and for some years after. The 
greater number of such letters, and the space occupied by 
the addresses, after a few years rendered such notice 
quite impracticable. 

February 14, Bennett of the Herald, who had been 
indicted for libels on Judges Lynch and Noah of the 
Court of Sessions, was fined one hundred dollars for one 
offence and two hundred and fifty for the other. 

April 9, having occasion to refer to a date in this 
year, I noticed the quotations of the market both for 

13 



386 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

meats and fish, and the rate of exchange on bank-bills, 
and give them without selection as to period or prices 
exceptionally high or low. 

Meats and fish : Porter-house steaks, i2C. per Ib. 
Ducks and fowls, 50 to looc. each. Beef, 5 to nc. per 
Ib. Sirloin, ice. per Ib. Mutton, 5 to 8c. per Ib. Chick- 
ens, 37^ to 75C. each. Lobster, 8c. per Ib. Butter, 2$c. 
per Ib. Lamb, 6 toSc.per Ib. Shad, i8^c. each. Crabs, 
2C. each. 

Rates of exchange on bank-notes : New England, ^ to 
y 2 per cent. Pennsylvania, y 2 to 2 per cent. Maryland, 
3^ to 7 per cent. Virginia, 8 to 9 per cent. Mississippi, 
50 per cent. Ohio, 12 per cent. Georgia, 5 to 20 per 
cent. Alabama, 16 to 17 per cent. Illinois, 50 per cent. 
Michigan, 35 per cent. Florida, 60 to 75 per cent. Lou- 
isiana, 10 to 15 per cent. 

In the same paper I note the sales of stocks and bonds, 
as reported for the day, to consist of but twenty-eight 
sales of all kinds. 

April 15. In this year our shipping interests, like all 
others, suffered from the depression of business, but as 
an indication of the extent of the New York shipping 
trade at this period, in comparison with that of later 
years, there were in port this day 70 ships, 34 barks, 93 
brigs and 250 schooners. 

April 28. There was a large meeting at Tammany 
Hall this evening, held in pursuance of a call to express 
the opinion of the Democratic party on the action of 
Thomas W. Dorr of Rhode Island, in declaring himself 
elected Governor and essaying to maintain the position. 
Eventually he failed to maintain his claim, and he and 
his followers dispersed. When he was here in about 
1825, reading law, we resided together. 

May. The new Custom House on Wall, William, and 
Hanover streets and Exchange Place was completed 
and occupied; the entire cost being a million of dollars. 






ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 387 

May 10. The second great horse race between North- 
ern and Southern breeders came off this day at the Union 
Course, L. I. The occasion of it was a challenge by Colo- 
nel Wm. R. Johnson, "The Napoleon of the Turf," to 
James Long of Washington, to run his mare "Fashion" 
four-mile heats against the latter's horse "Boston," for 
twenty thousand dollars a side. It was won by the for- 
mer in 7 minutes 32^ seconds and 7 minutes 45 seconds, 
and it was estimated that there were fully fifty thousand 
persons present. 

After the Anglomania possessed our breeders here, and 
they supplanted two-, three-, and four-mile heats by flat 
races of three-quarters to a mile and one-half, and entered 
two-year-olds, a horse over three years of age is seldom 
seen upon a course, but when entries of three-year-olds 
and above were alone entertained, horses were entered 
and run up to nine years, which was the age of" Fashion " 
in the race above noted, " Boston " being five ; and 
" Eclipse " in his great race, in 1823, was eight years old. 

June 7. In the early part of this month, Judge Kent 
and Aldermen Ball and Hatfield presiding,* a case was 
tried that involved very much more interest than any 
occurring within the .period of these reminiscences. It 
was that of Colonel Monroe Edwards, alias J. P. Caldwell, 
who had been arrested on the 7th of October in the pre- 
vious year for forgery and fraud. He, by a system of 
forged letters, to and from various parties in the country, 
displayed knowledge of a high order of business and 
commercial affairs, by which he obtained two sums 
of twenty-five thousand dollars each, on exchange, 
notes, and letters. On October 5 he was brought to 
this city. 

He was prosecuted by Jas. R. Whiting, the District 
Attorney, assisted by Hon. Ogden Hoffman, and "de- 

* Previously, and for some years after, the aldermen were associated 
with a judge in all criminal cases. 



388 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

fended by Hon. J. J. Crittenden, U. S. Senator, and Hon. 
Thos. F. Marshall, both from Kentucky, J. Prescott 
Hall, Robt. M. Emmett, Wm. M. Price, and Wm. M. 
Evarts. 

The trial lasted seven days, the verdict was " guilty," 
and the sentence ten years in the State Prison. So great 
was the interest in the trial, and such was the eloquence 
of the counsel, that the procedings with the speeches, 
published in pamphlet form and sold for six and one- 
quarter cents, were thus circulated not only in New York, 
but very widely through adjacent States. 

This was the first appearance of Mr. Evarts in an im- 
portant case, and he gave promise of his future distin- 
guished ability. 

Edwards died, January 29, 1847, before the termination 
of his sentence, from indiscretion, and to this day, when 
it is essayed by those who knew of him to give an ex- 
ample of personal address, skill, and criminal adroitness 
he is instanced. 

June i, Niblo's opened with the Ravels and a dramatic 
company of which the Misses Cushman were members. 
The Ravels occupied the house for four nights of each 
week. During this season they produced " The Green 
Monster," a pantomime that remained famous for many 
years. 

The work on the Croton Aqueduct was so far com- 
pleted that water was turned into it on June 21, and 
on the 27th it was admitted with formal ceremony into 
what was known as the upper reservoir at Yorkville, now 
familiar as the "old reservoir" in Central Park. It was 
introduced with further ceremonies, on July 5, into 
the reservoir at Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street, 
then described as "at Murray's Hill, a short drive from 
the city." 

July 9, Mr. Pinteaux opened the Cafe des Mille 
Colonnes in Broadway, between Duane and Anthony 






ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 389 

(Worth) streets. In accommodation and appointments it 
was far in excess of any previous essay in this country. 

July 19, Marcus Cicero Stanley, who had rendered 
himself notorious in some alleged scandalous transactions, 
was cowhided in the Park by an offended party. 

August: James E. Cooley, a resident of the city, had 
travelled in the East; and on his return he published a 
book of his travels, in which he commented on some act 
of George R. Gliddon, the British consul at Cairo. Soon 
after the appearance of the book Mr. Gliddon arrived in 
the country, and he provoked a personal rencontre with 
Mr. Cooley in the store of the Messrs. Appleton, the 
publishers of the book; resulting in Mr. Cooley being 
fined by a court to the amount of five dollars. 

John Anderson, who occupied a store in Broadway 
under the St. Nicholas Hotel, Broadway and Spring Street, 
had employed a very pretty young woman named Mary 
Rogers. She was very attractive, and so much admired 
that both she and the place where she was employed par- 
took of notoriety. On a day in July (a Sunday, I think) 
she left home, and was never seen again until her bruised 
body was discovered in the water near the " Sibyl's 
Cave " at Hoboken. An examination of the vicinity 
developed the fact that there had been a severe struggle. 
The notoriety of the victim, the evidence of her resistance, 
whether in defence of honor or life, the question of the 
animus and the identity of the murderer, all contributed 
to an exciting mystery, which the police of two counties 
signally failed to disclose. The' theory of robbery from 
the person was not for a moment entertained. An 
opinion was general, which gained ground, that the act 
was that of an officer of the Navy. 

In August Lord Ashburton (Alexander Baring), having 
concluded with Mr. Webster the negotiation of 'the 
" Ashburton Treaty," by which was defined the disputed 
boundary line between Maine and Canada, visited New 



390 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

York on his way homeward. He was received with every 
sign of good feeling, had the Governor's Room in the 
City Hall placed at his disposal, received much private 
hospitality, and was entertained at a public dinner and 
also by Captain M. C. Perry, of the Navy, on board his 
command, the steamer Fulton, on which occasion I was 
present. 

September 13, one McCoy was killed in a prize-fight 
by his antagonist, Lilly. The affair took place at 
Hastings-upon-Hudson. Lilly escaped, but the seconds 
in the combat were convicted of manslaughter in the 
fourth degree. 

September, George Vandenhoff appeared here for the 
first time in this country, in " Hamlet," and afterward 
in other tragedies and in high comedies. His perform- 
ances were of great elegance, but not very successful 
with the public. 

September 26, Richard Riker died. 

September 29, Rev. Antoine Verren, Rector of the 
Church du St. Esprit, having been tried by Judge Lynch 
and four aldermen under an indictment for perjury, was 
acquitted by the jury with the expressed approval of the 
Court. 

At this period the depression in business and manu- 
factures was very extensive, and the effect was sensibly 
exhibited in the depreciation of stocks; thus: In nine 
solvent companies, the stocks of which were marketable, 
the mean depreciation was forty-six per cent. In the 
latter part of this year I joined the United States Steam 
Frigate Missouri, and the effect of the manufacturing 
depression was manifest in the personnel of the crew; a 
majority of which were workmen out of their proper em- 
ploy, and were derisively termed, by the sailors proper, 
the "cotton weavers." 

October 16, at a public sale, vacant lots in the city, 
which in 1836 had been purchased for twenty-five hun- 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 391 

dred dollars and three thousand dollars, sold for five 
hundred dollars. 

As a matter of general information it was published 
that the time of travel hence to New Orleans was from 
six to seven days, and the least actual cost $57.25. 

October 18, in illustration of the manner of conduct- 
ing the nomination of candidates for Congress, State and 
City officers: each ward was entitled to five delegates, 
who met at Tammany Hall, and there by ballot an- 
nounced their candidate. On this day there was a 
nominating convention held there for Register and As- 
semblymen. At this period, and for some years after, 
our representatives in Congress and the Legislature 
were nominated and elected on a general ticket. There 
were seventeen wards, hence the convention consisted 
of eighty-five members, and forty-three votes were nec- 
essary for a nomination. On the ballot for Register J. 
Sherman Brownell received forty-eight votes, and was 
duly nominated. On the first ballot for Assemblymen, 
there were the names of fifty-two candidates presented, 
of which George G. Glasier, a shipwright, received forty- 
four and he was the only candidate receiving a majority; 
Samuel J. Tilden being fourth on the list with thirty-six 
votes. 

Mr. and Mrs. Brougham first appeared in October; he 
became at once popular and long remained efficient on 
our stage as actor and playwright. 

October 14, the great Croton Water celebration took 
place, surpassing in its proportions and interest any 
public occasion ever before known in New York, includ- 
ing even the famous parade on the completion of the 
Erie Canal. The procession was estimated to be seven 
miles long, in endless variety, military and civic includ- 
ing all the troops of the neighborhood, the Fire Depart- 
ment, with firemen of Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and other 
cities (a mile and a half of firemen), and representatives 



392 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of trades and associations of every kind; it required 
more than two hours to pass, in ranks from two to ten 
deep. The printers had a car bearing the press which 
Benjamin Franklin had once worked, on which were 
printed during the passage, for distribution among the 
crowd, copies of an ode written for the occasion by 
George P. Morris, which at a later hour was sung by a 
large choir, from a stage erected in the City Hall Park. 
The route was from the Battery up Broadway to Union 
Square, where the Governor (Seward) reviewed the 
troops, then by way of the Bowery, etc., to the City Hall, 
where the procession was reviewed by the Mayor and 
Common Council. At this point Samuel Stevens, Presi- 
dent of the Building Commission, formally transferred the 
works to the city, the speech of acceptance being made 
by John L. Lawrence, President of the Croton Aqueduct 
Board. A collation followed, at which the Mayor and 
the Governor spoke. Through the day the new fountains 
in Union Square and the City Hall Park (the latter on 
the site now defaced by the Post-office) had been play- 
ing, to the admiration of all spectators. In the evening 
a brilliant general illumination ended the public festivi- 
ties. The city swarmed with visitors; all the near-by 
towns poured in their populations, while great numbers 
came from places comparatively remote. 

The introduction of water into the city by the com- 
pletion of the Aqueduct, and the consequent construc- 
tion of sewers in the streets, afforded the opportunity 
for the introduction of it in buildings, and, as a result, 
plumbers were in great demand; but as the few in opera- 
tion at this period were inexperienced in house work, as 
it is termed, parties who were wholly ignorant of plumb- 
ing embarked in the business, and advertised themselves 
as " practical" plumbers; hence this general and super- 
fluous prefix to billiard, tonsorial and boot blacking par- 
lors; hatters' signs, etc., etc.! 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 393 

November 17, Assistant Alderman Atwill introduced 
a resolution in the Board with a view to the establish- 
ment of a day and night police. 

It was in this year that the evanescent political party, 
styled The Native Americans, came into existence. The 
foundation of its organization was that none but native- 
born citizens were to be its members, and all were 
pledged not to vote for any foreigner for office. 

A short time previous to this, Simpson, the manager of 
the Park Theatre, had directed that henceforth females 
unaccompanied by a man were not to be admitted during a 
performance; upon which paeans were sung by the press, 
from the pulpit, and by a large portion of the public. 
The operation of such a proceeding cannot be fully under- 
stood at this day. The third tier of boxes, or gallery, with 
its foyer and a bar-room, was wholly given up to women 
and those who sought their company or visited there as 
spectators. Unfortunately the small size of audiences at 
theatres at this period, except upon occasions of especial 
attraction, coupled with the loss of the many men who were 
attracted solely by the presence of the women, proved 
too powerful to permit the restriction of women, where- 
upon Simpson was criticised by the press and contributors 
to it. Hence his position was, *' I'll be damned if I do 
and be damned if I don't." 

The prices of admission at this time were seventy-five 
cents to the boxes and fifty cents to the pit, now termed 
the orchestra and held to be the most desirable location, 
and at the highest price. 

About this date prevailed " Mock auctions," or 
auctions at which, by the aid of confederates, termed 
" Peter Funks," not an article was sold except at a 
remunerative price, or in such manner as to trap the 
unwary, credulous, or submissive victim, in a purchase in 
which he would be unmercifully swindled. 

The grand coup of the auctioneer was to set up a dis- 
13* 



394 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



play card on which were affixed a variety of articles, 
knives, scissors, chains, rings, mock jewelry, etc., etc., 
upon which a "Funk" would start a bid so small, com- 
pared with the value of all the articles, that the uninitiated 
party present, alike to Peter Pindar's "Hodge," thinks 
"the fellow must have stole them," and he ventures a 
bid, whereupon the articles are ceded to him and he is 











MANSION HOUSE, NO. 39 BROADWAY, OF MAJOR-GENERAL MACOMB, LATE 
"THE MANSION HOUSE" OF C. BUNKER (SEE PAGE 121). 



invited into a back room to settle. He produces the 
amount of his bid or a bank-bill in excess of the amount 
of it, whereupon to his dismay he is informed that there 
are fifty different articles on the card (as the case may 
be), and that the price is so much per piece. Upon his 
remonstrance he is met by two or three men who declare 
that the articles were offered at so much per piece, and 
that he bought them, whereupon, after some dissent, he 
either pays the full amount or loses his money; and as the 
class of persons who were so swindled were invariably 
countrymen, they soon left the city and abided their loss, 
in preference to being incarcerated in the House of 
Detention to testify if they made the charge. 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 395 

Whenever an effective coup was made by a sale, it was 
announced " No more sales to-day," and the place was 
immediately closed; thus precluding the victim from 
making any immediate demand or disturbance, upon his 
discovery of the swindle. A common delusion practised 
upon a stranger, when he stopped at the door and asked 
what sale it was, was the uniform reply that it was a sher- 
iff's sale, which was given as a sure bait to the unwary. 

Despite the attempt to restrain these auctions by legal 
practice, and the publicity that was given in the papers 
to their swindling practices, they continued to flourish 
(Broadway and Chatham Street being the principal loca- 
tions) until one of our Mayors conceived the effective 
method of employing a man with two large canvas 
placards suspended, one in front and one behind him, on 
which were emblazoned in large letters " Beware of Mock 
Auctions," and the duty of the man bearing the notices 
was to walk to and fro in front of these stores. 

November 4, Daniel Webster made another visit to 
New York, and held a public reception at the City Hall, 
which was attended by the Chamber of Commerce in a 
body, whose president made an address. 

In this month died John Delmonico, the head at that 
time of the familiar business that had then become well 
established. He was one of a deer-hunting party at 
Snediker's, L. I., placed on a stand; he wounded a deer, 
which was killed at the adjoining stand. When his asso- 
ciates went to join him they found him dead; the excite- 
ment of the coming of and firing at the deer induced 
apoplexy. 

Philip Hone's " Diary" preserves for posterity the fol- 
lowing singular notice: "A Card: The widow, brother, 
and nephew Lorenzo, of the late much respected John 
Delmonico, tender their heartfelt thanks to the friends, 
Benevolent societies, and Northern Liberty Fire Engine 
Company, who accompanied his remains to his last home. 



396 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

The establishment will be reopened to-day, under the 
same firm of Delmonico Brothers, and no pains of the 
bereft family will be spared to give general satisfaction. 
Restaurant, bar-room, and private dinners, No. 2 South 
William Street; furnished rooms No. 76 Broad Street, as 
usual." 

October 12. James Watson Webb, who in June had 
fought a duel with the Hon. Thomas Marshall of Ken- 
tucky, in the State of Delaware, and was wounded in the 
leg, was on the ist instant presented by the Grand Jury, 
who in the indictment submitted the following excep- 
tional charge, declaring " James Watson Webb, of an 
evil and wicked mind and malicious disposition, and a 
common duellist, fighter, and disturber of the peace of the 
people of the State of New York," etc. 

To this Webb pleaded guilty of having left the State 
with the intent to fight a duel; whereupon Recorder Tall- 
madge, a political and personal friend of his, to the sur- 
prise of all held that leaving the State with the intent 
to fight did not render him amenable for having fought, 
and the indictment was dismissed. 

The origin of the meeting was a charge of Webb that 
corruption was resorted to, to effect the repeal of the 
Bankrupt Law.* 

November 19, Webb was again presented, and pleaded 
guilty; he was committed to the Tombs, but under ex- 
ceptional indulgence as to quarters, and regaled by the 
munificence of his friends. 

Bennett of the Herald drew up a petition asking the 
Governor to pardon W T ebb, which was signed by fully 
five thousand persons, and forwarded to the Governor 
(Seward). On the 26th he was sentenced to two years in 
prison, and on the 2d of December he received a pardon. 

While he was in prison Bennett invited a party to send 

*This law was repealed by the House of Representatives on the K)th 
of January, and by the Senate on February 25, 1843. 






ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 397 

him one hundred segars, and another to send him half a 
dozen of champagne. The first was complied with, and 
Webb was very indignant; for it should be understood 
that between Webb and Bennett there was a personal, 
professional, and political feud, and that the latter's 
actions were designed to be received as the compassionate 
or eleemosynary action of one who forgave an offender in 
view of his being in distress. 

December i, Webb and Marshall were indicted in 
Wilmington, Del., for having fought the duel there. 

The Messrs. Robert and George L. Schuyler in the 
preceding year contracted with the Russian Government 
for the construction of a steam frigate, the Kamschatka; 
she was completed and delivered in this year at Cron- 
stadt. Regretfully, the Messrs. Schuyler, who were not 
experienced either as shipbuilders or engineers, adopted 
a novel design of engines and boilers, which was dis- 
approved by engineers (I use the last word emphatically), 
and the vessel was not favorably received by the Govern- 
ment after it had witnessed the operation of her 
machinery. 

December 15, the United States brig Sowers, Com- 
mander Alex. S. Mackenzie commanding, arrived from 
Monrovia, Africa, and soon after it was learned that 
while cruising on the coast a midshipman on board had 
formed a mutinous band (the crew of the vessel being 
principally boys, apprentices from the schoolships) with 
the purpose of murdering the officers and seizing the 
vessel, in connection with which J. W. Wales, the purser's 
steward, was approached and asked to join. He tempo- 
rized with the proposers, and availing himself of a fitting 
opportunity, he disclosed the plan to the commander, 
which was to feign a scuffle on the forecastle, and on the 
appearance of the officers then to murder all but the 
surgeon, whereupon the ringleaders were arrested, a 
court-martial convened which declared the midshipman, 



398 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

a boatswain's mate, and a seaman guilty, and they were 
immediately hanged. 

This summary proceeding was severely censured by 
many, and especially so as the midshipman was a son of 
a Cabinet officer at the time. On the other hand, the 
action was held to have been necessary to secure the 
safety of lives, the vessel, and the honor of the service; 
added to which, the vessel was but a brig, the number 
of officers was small, and as they were young, it would 
have been injudicious to have risked the rising of even 
a portion of a crew that had considered and planned a 
mutiny. 

On the 28th instant a Court of Inquiry was convened 
at the Navy Yard here, Commodore Charles Stewart pre- 
siding, and the Hon. Ogden Hoffman, Judge Advocate. 

Captain Mackenzie's professional reputation and career 
were for some time damaged, but late in the spring of 
1843 a long-continued court-martial fully and honorably 
acquitted him, and the verdict was approved by the 
President. 

About this period associations of young men under the 
general designation of target companies, but appearing 
as '''Guards, " "Sharpshooters," "Fencibles," etc., be- 
came frequent; and as they paraded almost exclusively 
in the months preceding the fall election, they generally 
assumed the names of candidates in nomination for a 
political office, or of the firm or manufactory in which 
they were employed, when the number thus employed 
was sufficient to form a company. The conventional 
manner of equipment was a band of music, two or more 
tall men, with axes and fur shakos and beards, to repre- 
sent pioneers; then the company, with muskets and 
belts, and then a negro supporting a target. The pio- 
neers were men who made a profession of such services, 
and were hired for the occasion. The muskets, belts, etc., 
were also hired. In some instances the recipient of the 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 399 

high honor of having a military (?) company named after 
him marched in front, supported by some congenial 
friends. Contributions were not confined to money; but 
plated ware of various kinds was given and exhibited, 
generally strung on a pole which was supported at each 
end by one of the company, conspicuously shown in front. 

After the competition for the prizes, the first proceed- 
ing on the return of the companies seems to have been 
that of riddling the target with balls, evidently without 
regard to the distance at which it was placed, and the 
trophies were suspended from the button-holes of the 
winners, and the negro bore the evidence of the prowess 
of the company with all the "pomp and circumstance" 
his race is conspicuous for when put in prominence. 

For many years the companies on their return, without 
exception, marched by the office of the Herald in Nassau 
Street; and the following morning the members could 
read a notice of them and their " soldierly appearance." 

The American Museum, which in 1816 was at 21 
Chatham Street, and in 1817 removed to the New York 
Institution, a long building fronting on Chambers Street, 
and afterward removed to the corner of Broadway and 
Ann Street, was in this year owned and operated by 
Phineas T. Barnum, who had obtained possession of the 
stock and building of Scudder's Museum, on the site 
later occupied by the New York Herald. Here he pro- 
duced the dwarf man " General " Tom Thumb. In 1841 
Barnum occupied a bookstore at 137 Nassau Street. 

The New York and Harlem Railroad was opened to 
Williamsbridge. 

In this year the common-school system was extended 
to the city by act of Legislature. 

The Park Theatre made great efforts to recover its 
supremacy; prices were again reduced as follows: boxes, 
50 cents; pit, 25 cents; and gallery, 12^ cents. 

September, Barnum, later termed the Napoleon of 



400 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



showmen, introduced a construction which he heralded 
in his customary manner, and termed it the mummy of a 
Mermaid. It was the construction of the upper half of a 
young woman and the after part of a fish, and so elabo- 
rately and artistically effected that very many people 
were deceived and gave faith to the imposition. In 
1844, when I was in Washington, I became acquainted 
with the man who manufactured it; he was from the 
north of Europe. 

It was ascertained that since July i of the preceding 
year, eighty-five steamboats, plying in the Western 
rivers, had been wrecked, either by explosion of their 
boilers, fire, or snags. 

At the end of the year there was given at the Park 
Theatre an early form of "Toodles," a play which after- 
ward, at Burton's, became a very great favorite. 

The Bowery also reduced its prices this season to 37^ 
cents for the boxes and 19 cents for the pit, followed by 
a further reduction to 25 cents and 12^ cents. 




AN OLD-TIME KNOCKER OF A STREET DOOR 



CHAPTER XX 

1843-1844. ROBERT H. MORRIS, 1843 AND I ^44j AND 

JAMES HARPER, 1844, MAYORS 

JANUARY 2, the secretary of the New York Life and 
Trust Co., Nicoll, was discovered to have been speculat- 
ing heavily in lottery tickets and stocks, since Decem- 
ber, 1841 ; he resigned, and his account was deficient 
two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 

January 5, the historic walls of the Park Theatre 
were desecrated by the conversion of the pit for the 
accommodation of Welsh's Olympic Circus and its ap- 
pearance there, which was not only numerously but 
fashionably attended until its closing on March 6. 

January 8, at "The Broadway Cottage," opposite the 
Hospital, which was then termed a " groggery," "rum- 
shop," or " gin-mill," and now known as saloons (why, I 
have not as yet been satisfactorily replied to), a young 
woman in the daytime was allured in and violently 
assaulted; the perpetrator, a man named Dingier, was 
arrested. Jas. R. Whiting was District Attorney at the 
time, and his arraignment and invective, in his opening 
of the case and his charge to the jury, were exceptional 
essays, and so effective that the jury were absent less 
than five minutes, and the prisoner was sentenced to ten 
years' hard labor in the State Prison. 

In illustration of the enterprise of the journalists of 
the time in the absence of express trains on railroads, 
electric telegraphy, etc., upon the assembling of -the 
Legislature in this year, the Governor's message was 
expressed to the city by rival journals, on different sides 



402 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of the Hudson River. The riders of the expresses were 
to start upon the delivery of the message at 12 M. ; that 
of the Tribune reached Wall Street at 9 p. M. Probably 
it left somewhat before the appointed time. The riders 
were three, with the necessary relays of horses. 

Foreign steamers were boarded at Halifax, and the 
news borne by them was expressed to Boston and New 
York. 

Very stringent business conditions continued through 
most of this year, some improvement being manifested 
at its close. 

February 14 died Commodore Hull, U. S. N., and on 
February 21 died Peter Augustus Jay; an eminent citizen, 
highly esteemed by all classes. 

Early in this year the movement to nominate Mr. Clay 
for the Presidency took form, and the " Clay balls," 
which were a notable feature of the campaign of 1844, 
began to be given. 

March 21. In the evening of this day a Mr. Corlies, 
who was proprietor of a billiard room in Broadway near 
Franklin Street, was called out by a woman, and when 
they reached Benson Place in Leonard Street, he was 
shot and killed by a man on the opposite side of the 
street. The only party to whom an incentive for such 
a crime existed was soon after arrested in his room; sub- 
sequently both he and his wife were indicted, tried, and 
acquitted for want of direct testimony. 

Samuel F. B. Morse, who had conceived his idea of 
electric telegraphy in 1832, had publicly exhibited a tele- 
graph in the University of New York in 1837. After 
long delays a Congressional appropriation was made 
March 3, 1843, for building a trial line from Baltimore 
to Washington, which was completed in 1844. I was 
present at the receipt of the first message, and soon after 
transmitted one to a friend in Baltimore. Submarine 
telegraphy began in New York harbor in the autumn of 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 403 

1842. In January, 1846, the telegraph was opened be- 
tween New York and Philadelphia, and was continued to 
Washington in the course of that summer. My younger 
readers can scarcely realize how the telegraph revolu- 
tionized methods of domestic, as the ocean cables did 
the methods of foreign, business. 

April 29, Jesse Hoyt, Collector of the Port, was found 
to be a defaulter to the Government in an amount ex- 
ceeding two hundred thousand dollars. 

In May Peter Lorillard died, at the age of seventy- 
nine, having outlived his brothers George and Jacob, 
who had been associated with him in business and the 
founding of one of the great New York fortunes. 

The "Lady of Lyons" was first played in America, in 
May, 1841, at the Park Theatre, with an admirable cast, 
Charlotte Cushman as Widow Melnotte. 

In June President Tyler visited New York on his way 
to the ceremonies attending the dedication of Bunker 
Hill Monument. A great display marked his reception 
here. 

In the same month occurred the death of Christian 
Bergh, at the age of eighty-one. Mr. Bergh may be 
called the founder of our shipbuilding, which under his 
care and that of his followers became an enterprise of. 
great magnitude, and produced ships that were un- 
rivalled by those of any other nation. The crushing out 
of the world-famous American shipbuilding is one of the 
most grievous errors of modern legislation. 

July 4. The residents occupying houses fronting the 
Bowling Green had erected within the enclosed park 
a prismoidal structure of rough rock, over the sides of 
which flowed a stream of water from a Croton pipe. 
The design was generally held to have been a signal 
failure; a rather severe criticism in view of the restricted 
space and the supply of water. On the occasion of a 
French gentleman visiting one of the contributors to the 



404 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

structure, his attention was invited to it, and after a 
brief interval he asked, " What is the name of the archi- 
tect?" Upon being replied to, that it was Mr. Renwick, 
he simply remarked, " Mr. Ronwig ! I shall remember 
that name." An American or Englishman would have 
expressed his dissent from the design in less considerate 
words. 

About this period there were two contending parties 
interested in the adoption by the Government of their 
peculiar designs and constructions for the raising of 
vessels, incorrectly and persistently termed " dock," 
viz. : The Gilbert or " Balance," by which a vessel could 
be raised either in an open or enclosed space, but in 
both cases on a connected and continuous support or 
bearing; the other the Dakin or "Sectional," the bear- 
ing being constructed in sections, by which it was argued 
that they could by their independent action be adapted 
to the line of the keel of a vessel, if any curvature 
therein required such support. This was a very plausible 
position to advance, although it was an untenable one, 
and it succeeded with members of Congress, some of 
whom had never seen a ship, and even with shipmasters 
and constructors who were not well up in the operation 
of hydraulic machinery. The result, after one of the 
severest contests that were ever presented to Congress 
or the Navy Department, other than one of general 
public interest, was a compromise, by authorizing the 
construction by one party at Philadelphia and the other 
at Pensacola. My official position at the time was one 
that subjected me to the recitals and arguments of both 
parties. 

In operation both designs were introduced here, and 
both had their supporters. 

July 18 Mrs. J. M. Davenport, formerly "the infant 
wonder," who had first appeared in June at the National 
Theatre with great success (at eleven years of age), was 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 405 

seen at the Park, where she attracted great attention. 
After a long absence she appeared at the Astor Place 
Opera House, in the autumn of 1849, in the pride of 
young womanhood. 

August 31, there was a buffalo hunt in an enclosure 
at Hoboken, N. J., which was witnessed by fully thirty 
thousand people from this city, and in the progress of 
the hunt a number of the confined animals broke loose, 
to the dismay and damage of the spectators. 

September, the Chatham Theatre, in new hands, 
opened. A very notable attachment to the company was 
the " Virginia Minstrels" (Whitlock, T. G. Booth, H. 
Mestayer, and Barney Williams), for this was the begin- 
ning of " Negro minstrels." 

The Park Theatre was very much embellished this 
summer, even to the building of a new front to the 
house, and was opened in September, with a return to 
the old prices. 

September 30, at the Episcopal Convention held in St. 
Paul's Chapel, an exciting contest occurred in the con- 
sideration of a vote on a resolution involving the sanction 
of the forms (?) of the Rev. Dr. Pusey of England. The 
final vote was on a question adverse to " Puseyism," and 
the result was, Ayes, clergy 18; laity 37=55; Noes, 
clergy 97; laity 47 = 144; a result that was hailed with 
great glee by the Bishop. 

October. On the completion of the United States aux- 
iliary steamer Princeton, having a novel design of engines 
of Captain Ericsson, and one of his screw propellers, 
Commodore Stockton had given notice that upon the day 
of departure of the British mail steamer Great Western, he 
purposed a trial of speed, and on the i9th, as the Great 
Western rounded the Fort off Governor's Island, the 
Princeton headed for her, and they raced to Sandy Hook 
bar. . 

The Great Western was the fastest sea steamer out of 



406 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

England, and her captain, J. Hosken, accepted the con- 
test, and his vessel was as well prepared as a merchant 
steamer loaded with freight and fuel, leaving port, could 
be. On the other hand the Princeton was deep, as the 
competition was not solely to pass over a certain distance 
in the least time, but to test the sea-going capacity of the 
vessel. 

Captain Hosken, in a letter regarding the contest, 
claims to have made nine and one-half knots per hour, 
and acknowledges to have been beaten from one-half to 
three-quarters of a knot per hour. 

During this fall,' General Count Bertrand, of Na- 
poleon's army, and companion of the Emperor in exile, 
divided attention with Macready, being honored with 
extraordinary civilities, public and private. A public 
dinner was given him by the French residents. 

November, Colonel John Trumbull, the artist and 
Revolutionary soldier, died, aged eighty-seven. 

December, a controversy, not yet forgotten, began 
between the Rev. Dr. Wainwright and Dr. Potts, a 
Presbyterian clergyman, originated by Dr. Wainwright's 
declaring in a letter that " there could not be a Church 
without a Bishop." 

The building for the Leake and Watts Orphan Home, 
the corner-stone of which had been laid in 1838, was in 
this year completed and occupied. This was the struct- 
ure still standing (1895) in the Cathedral grounds, on 
the line of One hundred and Twelfth Street, near Tenth 
Avenue, having been but lately vacated on completion 
of the new Home on the bank of the Hudson, just across 
the line of the city's northern boundary. 

1844. February 7. Although the fine for giving a 
masked ball (deducting one-half the fine to the giver 
who informed on himself) was, as has been before stated, 
one thousand dollars, yet one was given this evening in 
the upper East side, which the Herald in its illustrated 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 407 

report of it, termed it "Grand Fourierite * Free and 
Easy, and Joint-Stock Fancy Ball," from which the char- 
acter of both participants and their actions may be 
inferred. 

February, F. Palmo, the proprietor of the popular 
Cafe de Mille Colonnes, an enthusiastic lover of his native 
music, secured the building 39 and 41 Chambers Street, 
previously Stoppani's baths, and at his own charges con- 
verted it into a charming little house for the production 
of Italian Opera, and it afterward was converted into 
Burton's Theatre. The over-confident Palmo lost in this 
enterprise all the money he had accumulated in his proper 
business, and was forced to " tend bar " for a living. 

It must be noted here that the Harlem Railroad adver- 
tised that after the opera "a large car, well lighted and 
warmed," would be run "from the corner of Chambers 
and Centre streets as far as Forty-second Street." 

On St. Valentine's Day was given at the Astor House 
the "Bachelors' Ball," which had been long expected by 
our society and was long remembered for its brilliancy. 
In the latter part of the month the city was suddenly 
depressed by news of the disaster on board the Princeton. 

February 28. It was on board of this vessel that the 
twelve-inch cast-iron gun known as the "Peacemaker" 
burst, when the vessel was bearing the President, his 
Cabinet, officers of the Army and Navy, and members of 
Congress, and many other gentlemen with ladies, on an 
excursion in the River Potomac, killing Secretary of 
State Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy William C. 
Gilmer, the Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Captain 

* Charles Fourier designed a condition of society he termed ' ' Social 
Unity." Soon after this a call for a meeting of all who desired to 
form an American society was issued for April, to which were subscribed 
the names of some dozen well-known citizens. Horace Greele'y is 
reported by the Herald to have been intimately connected with the 
society, and an advocate of its doctrines. 



408 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Beverly Kennon, Virgil Maxcy and David Gardiner, of 
Gardiner's Island, N. Y., and wounding Captain Stockton, 
Lieutenant Hunt, and a seaman. The gun was cast at 
the West Point foundry, Cold Springs, N. Y., in 1843, 
and was satisfactorily proved by Commodore Stockton, 
I assisting him, and subsequently at Sandy Hook. 

March 3, from an investigation by the Grand Jury, it 
submitted to the Court that the New York Life and 
Trust Co., with a capital of $20,750,000, had assets 
amounting to only $2,000,000. 

This was the exciting year of the Clay campaign for the 
Presidency. A considerable revival of business began, 
in spite of the distractions of the canvass. 

In this year Captain Ericsson was created by the King 
of Sweden a Knight of the Order of Vasa, and naturalized 
as a citizen of the United States. 

April 6, the New York Courier and Enquirer, referring 
to the advent of the annual elections for Wardens and 
Vestrymen of the Protestant Episcopal Church, affirmed 
that the Bishop and many of the clergy were essaying to 
elect " Puseyites," and that the matter was of great in- 
terest to the Church, and that after the Bishop (Benj. T. 
Onderdonk) had addressed the Episcopal Convention in 
support of "Puseyism," as it was termed, Mr. John Duer 
presented a paper signed by several clerical and lay dele- 
gates, respectfully dissenting from certain remarks in the 
Bishop's address (Benj. T. Onderdonk), and requesting 
that their dissent might be placed in the minutes, where- 
upon he was interrupted by the Bishop, who violently 
declared he would not allow the paper to be made a sub- 
ject for discussion or be put upon the minutes. Mr. 
Duer arose to appeal from the decision of the Bishop, 
who, in a very excited and peremptory manner, replied, 
" Sit down, sir; take your seat," and declared that, if the 
clergy and laity did not sustain him, he would ''resist, 
even unto death, such an invasion of his rights ! " 



ROBERT H. MORRIS, MAYOR 409 

April 7, General Morgan Lewis died, eighty-nine years 
old. Son of Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration 
of Independence, he was himself eminent for service in 
the Revolutionary War. After the peace he became 
Attorney-general, Justice and Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court of the State, Governor, and Senator. 
In the war of 1812 he served as Quartermaster-general 
of the United States Army. At the time of his death 
General Lewis was Grand Master of Masons and Presi- 
dent of the Society of the Cincinnati. His funeral in St. 
Paul's Chapel was a great public event. It was attended 
by the aged Major William Popham, then ninety-two 
years of age, Vice-president of the Cincinnati and then 
the sole surviving original member of the society. 

April 7, Washington Hall and its site were purchased 
from the heirs of John G. Coster by Alex. T. Stewart, 
who purposed to erect a dry-goods store thereon. Mr. 
Hone writes that the corner-stone of the Hall was laid 
on the 4th of July, 1809, and on the 5th of July of this 
year it was burned. 

The Roman Catholics in 1841 had opposed the applica- 
tion of the public-school fund in the established manner; 
they wanted a portion of it for their sectarian schools, 
and organized in support of their claim. In this not only 
did they signally fail, but their action gave additional 
organization and vitality to the Native Americans, whose 
action in the mayoralty election of this year was of 
exceptional interest, as there were three parties in the 
field, their candidates, Jonathan I. Coddington repre- 
senting the Democrats, Morris Franklin the Whigs, 
and James Harper the Native Americans, who was 
elected; he receiving 24,510 votes against 20,538 cast 
for Coddington, and 5297 for Franklin. This party was 
in the majority in the Common Council for some years, 
but the illiberality of its tenets, added to the return 
of many of its members to their original parties, when 




4IO REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Native Americans were in nomination, so reduced the 
new party that in a few years it dwindled out of exist- 
ence. Mayor Harper signalized his administration by 
active service in the improvement 
of Madison Square, and in improv- 
ing the organization of the Police 
Department. 

His administration partook of the 
purity of that of his early predeces- 
sors in the office, but without the 
s avoir fair e and pratiques of some of 
the local politicians who succeeded 
him. 

JAMES HARPER At ^ ls period the police officers 

of the city were few in number, 

without effective organization, and ununiformed. Mr. 
Harper, recognizing their deficiency when combined 
action was required, proceeded to remedy this, and suc- 
ceeded in effecting an organization that became initiatory 
to the present one. He also succeeded, despite the oppo- 
sition to the measure, in establishing a uniform for the 
members. 

April 4, the Fourierites held a great convention in 
Clinton Hall, at which Horace Greeley presided as one 
of the Vice-presidents; and on the 8th, the anniversary 
of the birth of Fourier, there was a grand festival at 
Apollo Hall, at which Parke Godwin and Horace Greeley 
addressed the company. 

The Tribune at this time was the organ of the Fourier- 
ites and published their creed. 

April 13, Moses Y. Beach, in his paper The Sun, essayed 
to perpetrate a hoax upon the public with an announce- 
ment of the arrival of a balloon and its navigator at 
Charleston, S. C., from England. 

April n, the first Paas festival of the St. Nicholas 
Society was celebrated. 



JAMES HARPER, MAYOR 411 

April 12, the Herald having published a very severe 
article on Henry Wikoff, regarding his business relations 
with Mile. Elssler, he replied in the columns of the 
Enquirer, making charges, and alleging circumstances 
altogether of too personal a nature to be given here. 

May 2. At Apollo Hall there was presented the per- 
formance of the " Congo Minstrels," later known as the 
" Negro Minstrels." 

June 27. In evidence of the advance or improvement 
in the capacity of both trotting and running horses, the 
breeding and training of them: in 1818 " Boston Blue" of 
Boston, Mass., at Jamaica, L. I., trotted a mile in har- 
ness in the then unprecedented recorded time of 3 min- 
utes; in 1824, " Albany Pony," also in harness, a mile in 
2 minutes and 40 seconds; and in this year " Americus," 
driven by George Spicer, trotted three miles on a race- 
course on Long Island in 7 minutes and 52.2 seconds, 
equal to an average of 2 minutes and 37.5 seconds; and 
in 1859, at Kalamazoo, Mich., " Flora Temple," in har- 
ness, one mile in 2 minutes and 19.75 seconds. In running 
horses like improvement had been attained. " Sir 
Henry" in 1823 ran, as before stated, four miles in 7 
minutes 37 seconds; and in 1876 "Ten Broeck " in 7 min- 
utes and 15.75 seconds. 

July i, the Cunard steamer from Boston for Liver- 
pool had sixty-six passengers, and at the same time from 
this city, the Oxford for Liverpool, the Oneida for Havre, 
and the Victoria for London had collectively but eighty- 
four passengers. 

May 9, at an annual meeting of the Abolitionists, their 
actions were of an exceptional and fanatical character. 
They were wrought up to frenzy, in the passage, of 
a resolution expressing a determination to dissolve the 
Union. Garrison presided, assisted by Wendell Phillips. 

At a meeting of the Board of Aldermen it was advanced 
that in consequence of the frequent and fatal accidents on 



412 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the New York and Harlem Railroad, the rails should be 
removed from the streets; and a report from a select 
committee was submitted by it, which, after being laid 
aside, was not concurred in. 

May. It was about this period that the area known as 
the Fishing Banks was discovered to be a feeding bottom 
for sea bass, porgies, etc., and Henry E. -Neill chartered 
the first steamboat for the service of fishing and excursion 
parties. 

It was not permitted to sell goods on a Sunday, or to 
encumber a sidewalk. The fine for the non-observance of 
the laws was two dollars for each of the offences, and it 
was demanded and paid. 

The proposed annexation of Texas, advanced and ad- 
vocated at the South and by the Northern Democrats, 
was violently opposed by partisans of the Whig party, 
who were opposed to any extension of Southern influence 
and negro slavery. Meetings for the purpose of express- 
ing dissent were held at various times, and the Adminis- 
tration and " Loco-focos," as the Democrats were 
termed, denounced. On April 24 a public meeting of all, 
"without reference to party," assembled at the Taber- 
nacle to protest against the annexation; the call being 
signed by the leading merchants, bankers, and citizens 
of the time. The meeting was presided over by Albert 
Gallatin, and it was interrupted by an adverse party, who 
hurrahed for Texas, etc. Conspicuously the Whigs out- 
numbered the Democrats. 

The Chatham Theatre opened in the middle of July, 
with J. W. Wallack as Hamlet to the Ophelia of Mrs. 
Flynn. This performance was notable for the appear- 
ance of F. S. Chanfrau as Laertes. He had worked up 
from the ranks, afterward becoming famous as Mose in 
" A Glance at New York " at the Olympic. He travelled 
thereafter extensively through the Union; a handsome 
man and versatile actor of enduring popularity. 



JAMES HARPER, MAYOR 413 

July 29, the Long Island Railroad was opened to its 
terminus at Greenport, with an excursion over the line 
to Boston in the following year; and the last train to the 
South Ferry was run September 30, 1861. Much was ex- 
pected of this enterprise as affording a main route of 
travel to the East (by steamboats from Greenport), but 
it did not fulfil expectation. 

April 13. Edward Curtis, a prominent and active Whig 
who had been appointed Collector of the Port by Presi- 
dent Harrison, was this day removed by President Tyler, 
who was charged with aspiring to be the nominee at the 
approaching convention, and in view of it he sought to 
put his partisans in power, and Chas. G. Ferris, a Demo- 
crat, was appointed to the vacancy. Both removal and 
appointment were much criticised. 

July 30, the New York Yacht Club was organized by 
the presence and act of nine gentlemen on board the 
yacht Gimcrack of Mr. John C. Stevens, who was elected 
commodore. On its first cruise there were nine yachts. 
Many years prior to this, Commodore Stevens and his 
brother, Robert L., had built a small sloop, the Trouble, 
and in 1833 they built at Hoboken the schooner Wave. 

Mr. Korponay, a Pole, who had lately arrived here for 
the purpose of teaching us the polka, went to Saratoga, 
where he was received by the young with much eclat; and 
after a very successful course of teaching, he visited New- 
port and Washington for a like purpose, and successfully. 

In August died John G. Coster, at eighty-one, a much- 
esteemed citizen; and also William L. Stone, who had 
honorably conducted the Commercial Advertiser for a 
quarter of a century. 

I think it was in the fall of this year that the Bowery 
Theatre brought out a patriotic drama entitled " Putnam, 
or the Iron Son of '76," which had extraordinary attrac- 
tion for the public, and ran for nearly eighty consecutive 
nights. Its cast of characters included Washington, 



414 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Greene, Cornwallis, Rawdon, etc., and appealed strongly 
to a public the elders of which could remember the 
Revolutionary War. 

As the Presidential election drew near, it became the 
chief topic of thought and conversation. The passionate 
devotion of the Whigs to the person of Mr. Clay gave 
a peculiar ardor to their feelings and acts in this 
campaign, which never since has been matched in point 
of enthusiasm. On October 30, a great Whig demon- 
stration occurred in New York, followed on November i 
by an equally long procession of the Democrats. In 
numbers, insignia, and equipments these were superior 
to any preceding or succeeding display I have witnessed, 
and I have seen very many. In the election the Whigs 
" traded " their Congressional and State candidates for 
Clay votes, thus giving a sweeping success to the Native 
American party; but that party did not return the com- 
pliment in full, and as the Abolitionists voted directly 
or indirectly against Clay, he lost the State of New York 
by a small majority, and with it the election. 

The first returns favored Clay's prospects, and the 
Broadway House, on the north-east corner of Broadway 
and Grand Street, the Whig head-quarters, was a centre 
of rejoicing over the early news. A procession marched 
to congratulate Frelinghuysen, the candidate for Vice- 
president, who was visiting in Washington Place, and he 
replied in a speech. The Whigs were intoxicated with 
triumph, but the morning showed New York and the 
election lost. The Broadway House, after this campaign, 
lost prestige and declined. 

John C. Stevens leased a portion of the grounds of 
Columbia College, fronting on College Place, and erected 
a house thereon, somewhat in the Colonial style. In 
excavating for the foundation, there were exposed and 
reclaimed two pieces of English field artillery, which had 
evidently been captured and secreted. 



JAMES HARPER, MAYOR 415 

Thomas Ludlow Ogden died in December of this year, 
aged seventy-one. He was a highly respected member 
of the bar, of a family connection which is still extensive 
and of high repute. For many years he had been clerk 
of Trinity corporation and Warden of the parish. He 
was grandfather of Thomas Ludlow Ogden, but now 
dead (1894), almost precisely fifty years later, also in the 
office of a vestryman of Trinity. 

In this year Joseph Francis perfected his life-boat, 
the precursor of the varieties that have followed. 

Houston Street was extended from Lewis Street to the 
East River. 

The last services were held in the Middle Dutch 
Church, prior to its removal. The old church became 
the Post-office. It was removed in 1882 to make way 
for the Mutual Life Insurance Company's building. 

August ii. The Herald evidently availed itself of 
every opportunity that was presented to notice what 
it held to be vagaries or idiosyncrasies of Horace 
Greeley, the acts or sayings of James Watson Webb, the 
letters of Henry Wikoff, or to refer to Thurlow Weed 
(whom, from his political and editorial influence at Al- 
bany, it termed the State Barber), or the presence and 
salutatory displays of the " Bouquet man " 4 at all public 
meetings of societies, etc. ; and on the occasion of the 
delivery by Horace Greeley of a lecture in Philadelphia, 
the Herald announced to its readers that " This eccentric 
genius delivered an address before some literary society 
at Hamilton College the other day, and a pretty mess it 
appears he made of it. It was partly literary, philan- 
thropist, Clay, and Fourierite. Horace had better stay 
at home and look after his paper; he evidently was in 
a dangerous state of exaltation." 

August. Captain James Hosken (Lieutenant R. N.), 
who had commanded the steamer Great Western, arrived 
here for the purpose of enlisting some of our capitalists 



416 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

in organizing a company to construct and operate a line 
of steamers hence to Liverpool and return; the practica- 
bility of which he supported by furnishing detailed 
exhibits of the receipts and expenditures of the Great 
Western and of the British Queen. He failed in his 
mission and returned home. 

September 26. There was a great meeting held at 
Tammany Hall this evening to endorse the measure 
before Congress relating to the acquisition of Texas, and 
at it George Bancroft, the historian, made his de'but both 
as a political and a Democratic speaker. His reception by 
the meeting was of an exceptionally enthusiastic nature. 

On the south-west corner of Trinity churchyard was 
the grave of Captain James Lawrence, U. S. N., who 
was killed on board the United States frigate Chesapeake 
in her engagement with H. B. M. frigate Shannon. There 
was erected a shaft with a broken or imperfect capital, 
as typical of his life, but as the city had provided a new 
monument, the shaft was removed and the new one 
(August 22) fronted on Broadway. 

In evidence of the commercial position of the city at 
this period, there were 218 sea-going vessels in port and 
in service, and in this year there were 50 vessels built 
here. 

In the fall of this year the Democratic party divided 
in two factions; one being designated by the other as 
" Barnburners," referring to the story of the man who 
burned his barn to destroy the rats that ate his grain; 
later they were termed " soft shells," and the other fac- 
tion "old hunkers," or " hard shells." 

Washington Market was extended out to the bulkhead 
line, and known as the Exterior or Country Market. 

The boundaries of Madison Square were fixed at 
Twenty-third and Twenty-sixth streets, and Fifth and 
Madison avenues, the area being 6.82 acres, a reduction 
of 73.48 acres from the original design of 1814. 






JAMES HARPER, MAYOR 417 

In Broadway at 412, near Lispenard Street, there was 
the Apollo Ballroom, a very popular resort for a grade 
of politicians who were opposed to Tammany Hall. In 
later days it was the headquarters of the Apollo Hall or 
Wood democracy. 

In this year the American Musical Institute was 
founded, under Mr. Henry C. Timm, and Thomas Clyde 
established a line of steamers between this port and Phila- 
delphia, with the steamer McKim; not only the second 
commercial one, but the first with twin screws a type 
now being adopted after a lapse of very nearly half 
a century. 

December i, the New York Hotel opened by Bill- 
ings & Monnot. 




FIRE BUCKET. 



CHAPTER XXI 

1845-1846. JAMES HARPER, 1845; WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, 

1845-1846, AND ANDREW H. MICKLE, 1846, MAYORS 

1845. I N January of this year the Middle Dutch 
Church, at Nassau, Cedar, and Liberty streets, was con- 
verted into the Post-office, and continued in that use 
until removal to the present Post-office structure in 
Broadway and Park Row. January 28, Broadway was 
widened from Twenty-fifth to Forty-fifth Street. 

January n, the Herald published a list of such of our 
citizens as were estimated to be worth $100,000, and 
above it, among whom I select the following : John J. 
Astor, $2,500,000; Wm. B. Astor, $5,000,000; Peter Goe- 
let, $400,000; Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Q. Jones, 
each, $250,000; Spingler Estate, $200,000; and Philip 
Hone, $100,000. This last estimate is unquestionably 
low, and possibly the result of the virulence of Hone's 
utterances regarding the editor. 

January 24, a meeting of citizens was held at Tammany 
Hall in favor of the annexation of Texas to the United 
States, which had been the chief matter of our politics for 
a considerable period and the subject of most excited 
debate, and was definitely settled in favor of the annexa- 
tion during the last days of President Tyler's term. 

February 5, the offices of the Tribune were totally 
destroyed by fire. A heavy snowstorm prevailed, the 
fire-engines were delayed by drifts in the streets, the 
hydrants were frozen, etc. Under these conditions it 
was with great difficulty that the neighboring Tammany 
Hall was preserved from burning. 






JAMES HARPER, MAYOR 419 

March 24. A brilliant audience gathered at the Park 
Theatre for the first performance of Mrs. Anna Cora 
Mowatt's play," Fashion," which ran for twenty nights. 

This spring Alex. T. Stewart, having purchased the 
site of Washington Hall, at Broadway and Chambers 
Street, began the construction of his extensive store, 
which for a long time outrivalled all others. Stewart 
arrived here from Ireland in 1823, and was engaged as an 
assistant teacher in a public school. Fletcher Harper, of 
Harper & Bros., told me he had been a pupil of his. In 
1824 he opened a small dry-goods store at 283, in 1827 at 
262, and in 1830 at 257, Broadway. In 1828 he or one of 
his salesmen erroneously charged a lady customer with 
having secreted some articles from the counter, and as it 
was alleged that she was treated with much inconsidera- 
tion the press took the matter up, and so general was the 
verdict against Mr. Stewart that it was very questionable 
if he would be able to sustain himself; but the matter 
lapsed, and was soon forgotten. 

March 3, by Act of Congress the postage on single 
letters was reduced to five cents if sent under three hun- 
dred miles, and over that distance ten cents. To take 
effect on and after July i. 

The Branch Mint was established in this city in the 
building in Wall Street built and occupied by the Bank 
of the State of New York. 

March 13, the Herald issued its first double sheet of 
eight pages. 

April 4, a floating theatre was opened on the North 
River between Spring and Charlton streets, which had 
but a brief existence. 

April 7, on her passage from Albany to this city, the 
steamboat Swallow under full speed ran upon Rock 
Island, broke in two, and sank. The loss of life was 
never ascertained, but it was held to be over fifty. 

April 8. The Charter election of this year showed 



420 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

another turn of politics. Mr. Harper, the Native Ameri- 
can candidate for a repeated term of office, lost Whig sup- 
port in consequence of his party's course toward Clay in 
the preceding autumn, and was defeated; receiving but 
17,485 votes, while the Democratic candidate, Mr. Have- 
meyer, had 24,307, and the " straight" Whig vote rose to 
7032. In 1846, moreover, the Whig vote was 15,256, 
while the Native American fell away to 8372, the Demo- 
cratic plurality remaining at about 7000. 

April 10, Mrs. Polly Bodine, who was indicted for the 
murder of a Mrs. Housman and her daughter, and setting 
fire to their house on Staten Island in order that by the 
incineration of the bodies of her victims the murder 
would not be recognized, was tried in this city before 
Judge Edwards. District Attorney Jas. R. Whiting, 
assisted by D. A. Clark of Staten Island, conducted the 
prosecution, and the defence was by David Graham and 
Clinton De Witt. The accused had previously been 
twice tried on Staten Island, but in consequence of local 
and family interests, etc., the juries had failed to agree; 
hence a new trial was held here. It occupied the Court 
for twenty-one days, the judge's charge filled four and 
one-half columns of the Herald. Bodine was declared to 
be guilty of murder; was again arraigned under a new 
trial in November before Judge Edmunds, and failing to 
obtain a jury, the case was transferred to a Court at New- 
burgh, where she was tried and the jury acquitted her. 

April 25, the steamboat Empire, of the New York and 
Albany Line, on her passage to this city in a dense fog, 
ran into the pier, solid ballasted crib work, at the foot of 
Nineteenth Street, for the full length of twenty feet. A 
report of the occurrence was held to be so wholly at 
variance with the generally entertained opinion as to the 
practicability of such a result that many persons pro- 
ceeded to the pier and measured the distance. The effect 
of such an impact upon like work is to this day a marvel 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 421 

with many; not recognizing that the impact of even a 
light body at a high velocity maybe superior to the static 
resistance of a denser one, as illustrated in the projection 
of an inch of tallow candle from an ordinary fowling-piece 
through a pine board one inch thick. 

The Bowery Theatre was burned for the fourth time, 
at 6 P. M. ; E. L. Davenport's benefit being advertised for 
that evening. It might seem from the frequency of such 
conjunctions that benefit announcements had some occult 
connection with fires in theatres. 

May 13. The great horse race between Wm. Gibbons' 
" Fashion," entered by Samuel Laird, 8 years old and 
carrying 122 pounds, and R. Ten Broeck's " Peytona," 6 
years, carrying 115 pounds, designated as that of the 
North against the South, for ten thousand dollars a side, 
was run at four-mile heats at the Union Course, L. I. So 
great was the interest in this race that it was attended 
by men from all parts of the Union, and the attendance 
on the day of the race was superior in numbers to that 
of the Eclipse and Sir Henry race in 1823. The Her- 
ald published an extra between the heats. Peytona, 
representing the South, won; first heat, 7 minutes 39^ 
seconds; second heat, 7 minutes 45 % seconds. 

In May died, very suddenly, Robert C. Cornell, Presi- 
dent of the Farmers' Loan and Trust Company, a man 
very eminent for works of charity. 

The Rev. Dr. Stephen H. Tyng accepted the call to St. 
George's Church, to succeed the Rev. Dr. Milnor. 

Grace Church, at the corner of Broadway and Rector 
Street, was sold for sixty-five thousand dollars; the pres- 
ent structure at Tenth Street was then in progress. 

May 28, another and a third contest between the 
North and the South for the supremacy of the turf, be- 
tween William Gibbon's " Fashion," entered by Samuel 
Laird, and R. Ten Broeck's /'Peytona" came off at four- 
mile heats for the Jockey Club purse at Union Course, 



422 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

L. I., which was won by the former in 7 minutes and 
48 seconds, and 7 minutes and 57 seconds. The entire 
racing and sporting population of the country was again 
interested, and the attendance was very great. 

In illustration of the publication and sale of daily 
papers at this time, the Herald gave a sworn statement 
of its publication for the month of June and an esti- 
mate of that of six other leading papers. Thus: daily 
average of Herald 11,501, and 13,266 for the others com- 
bined. 

June 13, Mrs. Mowatt appeared for the first time on 
any stage, at the Park Theatre, as Pauline, in "The Lady 
of Lyons," with success as extraordinary as were the con- 
ditions under which it was achieved, for it was said that 
her appearance was but three weeks after she had resolved 
(for financial reasons) to go upon the stage; that she had 
but one rehearsal of her part; and never had been behind 
the scenes till the day before the production of her own 
play, "Fashion." 

Her last appearance on the stage was at Niblo's, June 
3, 1854, on occasion of a complimentary benefit arranged 
for her by some of the first citizens of New York. She 
then played Pauline. Her marriage to Mr. W. F. Ritchie 
of Richmond, Va., followed almost immediately. She 
died abroad, in 1870. 

July 12, the passage from Boston here via Long Island 
Railroad was accomplished in 9^ hours, which was so 
exceptional that it was noticed in the papers of the fol- 
lowing day. 

The organization of the New York Yacht Club being 
effected, the flag of the Club designed by Captain Rob- 
inson was adopted, and the house in Elysian Fields at 
Hoboken assigned as the headquarters. The course of 
the annual prize races for the Club was first from off the 
Elysian Fields to a buoy off Staten Island, then across 
to Owl's Head, L. I., and back to the point of starting. 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 423 

Later, the courses extended to the southwest Spit; then 
from Quarantine, Staten Island, and from buoy off Hoff- 
man Island around the Sandy Hook lightship. 

July 17. The first regatta of the Club occurred this 
day; the contestants being the Gimcrack, John C. 
Stevens, Commodore; Spray, J. H. Wilkes, Vice-com- 
modore; Cygnet, Wm. Edgar; Minna, Jas. Waterbury; 
La Coquille, John C. Jay; Syren, Wm. Miller; Sybil, Chas. 
Miller; Mist, Louis Depau; Dream, Geo. L. Schuyler; 
Lancet, Geo. Robbins; Adda, Captain Roberts; Northern 
Light, Wm. P. Winchester; lanthe, Geo. Cadwallader; 
Newburgh, Captain Robinson. The tonnage of these 
vessels ranged from 17 to 45, one only exceeding that; 
the Newburgh being 72 tons. The Cygnet won the prize. 

July 19, the great fire of 1845 began about daybreak 
in a warehouse on New Street. It was apparently well 
under control when a vast explosion occurred, by which 
several lives were lost; neighboring buildings were over- 
thrown, and flames were communicated in every direction. 
In two hours 150 buildings were aflame, and before the 
devastation could be checked almost the whole district 
bounded by Broadway from below Stone Street to above 
Exchange Place, inclusive of a part of the west front 
above Morris Street, the fronts on Exchange Place to 
beyond Broad Street, the fronts on Broad Street down to 
Stone Street, and the fronts on Stone Street from there 
to Broadway were destroyed. The loss was computed at 
six million dollars, and this involved the failure of some of 
the most approved insurance companies. Nevertheless, 
rebuilding at once began; new buildings rising while yet 
the flames were playing among the mounds of ruin and 
the old materials to be cleared away were too hot to be 
taken in the bare hands of the workmen. 

Telegraphic communication was established between 
New York and Philadelphia. 

June 18, George W. Matsell was appointed Chief of the 



424 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Police. The number of policemen at this time was fixe'd 
at eight hundred, and the question of the further non- 
licensing of booths around the park for the evening and 
day of the Fourth was entertained by the Common 
Council, and negatived by a small majority. 

August 10, arrived at the port the steamer Great 
Britain, called the ''monster of the ocean," since she 
was 322 feet long, with a capacity of three thousand tons. 
The peculiar interest in her, however, was from the fact 
that she was a screw steamer, and built of iron. 

Bowery Theatre rebuilt and opened. 

Wm. C. .H. 'Waddell in this year constructed a resi- 
dence on Fifth Avenue, between Thirty-seventh and 
Thirty-eighth streets (where the "Brick Church,'* 
formerly located on Beekman Street and Park Row, now 
is), on the natural level of the ground, which was several 
feet above the city grade. While he was engaged in 
making the purchase of the plot of ground it is related 
that his wife, who accompanied him, rested under an 
apple tree by the wayside. He furnished his house with 
expensive elegance, and later (1846), as fancy-dress 
balls were essayed by several parties, Mrs. Waddell gave 
one which was followed by one of Mrs. Schermerhorn's; 
the guests being required to appear in the style of dress 
of the French Court of Louis XV. 

The Almshouse at Bellevue, which was enlarged in 
1818 by the purchase of adjoining land, was in this 
year removed to Blackwell's Island. The land that had 
been purchased by the Corporation for it was now sold; 
whereupon the owners of the land purchased by the 
Corporation claimed the money received by it for the 
sale, on the plea that the land had not been taken for 
public use, and consequently the Act of 1818, by which 
the land had been purchased, was unconstitutional. The 
Court decided adversely to the claimants, and the Court 
of Appeals affirmed the decision. 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 425 

The existing law regarding the pilots of our harbor 
having been abolished by Act of Legislature, the oppor- 
tunity was open to any one who either had the capacity 
or temerity to undertake piloting, and, as a very natural 
result, the Chamber of Commerce drafted a law having 
in purpose the arrest of the evil, in which it was provided 
there were to be three Commissioners to be appointed, 
one each by the Chamber, the Board of Marine Under- 
writers, and the Pilots; which provision was so much 
opposed by the pilots that they submitted a draft of a 
law. This controversy was finally settled by the passage 
of a law alike to that of the Chamber of Commerce. 
Congress having authorized any pilots who were citizens 
of New Jersey to act as such via Sandy Hook, a fierce 
rivalry and contention arose between them and those 
from the city; but after many years of contest, the two 
associations joined fellowship. 

September 5, John B. Gough, a reformed inebriate 
and notorious lecturer on temperance, disappeared from 
home and friends, and on the i2th was found in a house 
in Walker Street, where he had lain drunk for the entire 
week. 

October. The Olympic opened. "Don Caesar de 
Bazan " was here produced for the first time in this 
country, a week earlier than at the Park. This was a 
very bright and varied season at the Olympic; burlesques 
and travesties, farces, comedies, and fairy pieces, were 
profusely offered until the house closed in May of the 
next year. 

The population of the city in this month was ascer- 
tained to be 366,785. 

September 15, the Massachusetts, built by the Messrs. 
Forbes of Massachusetts and one of the first sea-fitted 
merchantmen having a screw propeller, left for a south- 
ern voyage. 

October. A Mr. Wm. L. Mackenzie published a book 



426 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

which elicited much attention and comment, as it 
gave private correspondence, said to be surreptitiously 
obtained, to which that of John Van Buren, Benj. F. 
Butler (of New York), Jesse Hoyt, and many other 
well-known and prominent Democrats and officials, was 
added. 

An association of dry goods merchants decided ta 
construct a block of stores in William Street, between 
John and Fulton streets, with a view to remove their 
business there, which they effected, though but for a few 
years. 

Spofford, Tileston & Co. concluded the contracts for 
constructing a line of steamers to ply, in the early spring, 
hence to Charleston, S. C., and back. 

Gramercy Park, a part of the Gramercy farm, was 
defined and presented by Samuel B. Ruggles to the 
owners of the lots fronting thereon. 

The steamer Virginia, of four hundred tons' burthen, 
which had been fitted by Jas. P. Allaire with engines,, 
boilers, and the vertical water-wheels of E. T. Aldrich, 
the blades of which were submerged below the bottom 
of the hull, was experimented with; the projector of the 
essay having an agreement with a seafaring party here 
that, if the application was successful, he would pay for 
her and put her upon the route hence to Liverpool. 
The conditions of the agreement were neither fulfilled 
nor demanded. 

1846. William Street, from Maiden Lane to Chatham, 
was widened, and the widening of Broadway from 
Twenty-fifth to Forty-fifth Street was continued. 

February 14. A great gale occurring, ten vessels were 
stranded on Squan Beach, and from one of them one of 
the oldest and most respected pilots, of the name of 
Freeborn, was drowned. 

February. Grace Church, Broadway corner of Tenth 
Street, being about completed, some of its pews were 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 427 

sold in addition to a rent on the value of them; the prices 
ranging from twelve to fourteen hundred dollars, equal 
to from three to four dollars per Sunday. 

February 24. In the previous year an association of 
gentlemen organized for the construction and operation 
of a racket court, and having obtained premises on 
Broadway, almost immediately above Niblo's Garden, 
constructed a court with the attendants' rooms and con- 
veniences, and this day it was opened with a large and 
distinguished company of guests and their ladies. The 
entertainment was a dejeuner, music, and dancing. 

On March 10 was laid the corner-stone of Calvary 
Church at Fourth Avenue and Twenty-first Street. 

March 25. The public was surprised this day to learn 
that the magnificent packet ship Henry Clay, Captain Nye, 
of Grinnell, Minturn & Co.'s line of Liverpool packets, 
was ashore at Squan Beach, and particularly so, as neither 
weather nor the experience and uniform success of the 
captain seemed to justify the circumstance. On the 
i4th of the month following the vessel was floated, and 
brought up to the city, and in justice to her owners and 
builders it is cited that for twenty days, mostly in stormy 
weather, she lay " broadside to " on a beach, was hauled 
off, repaired, and refitted for efficient service. 

So much for the ship, but as regards the captain, the 
case is different; and it is thus met: he had for a long 
period been in command of the same vessel, the Independ- 
ence, and he was so cognizant of her speed when looking 
over her side that he rarely "logged" her. When -he 
assumed command of the Henry Clay, a much larger 
vessel, it did not occur to him that her deck was higher 
than that of his former vessel, and that an estimate of 
the speed of the one would not apply to the other, as the 
higher an observer is above the water the less the 
apparent velocity. As a consequence of this neglect of 
consideration on his part, his estimate of the speed of his 



428 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

vessel brought her up on the Jersey shore, when he' 
thought she was off Long Island. The fact that such a 
vessel could be subjected to such a stress with but 
moderate damage is a striking proof of the excellent 
quality of ship-building work in our yards. And as for 
the speed of the ships: the Rainbow, belonging to How- 
land & Aspinwall, arrived at this port on April 17, com- 
pleting thus two voyages to and from Canton within 
fourteen months. 

At this date the Mexican war was imminent, and Presi- 
dent Polk presently announced that a state of war 
actually existed, and called for men and money. Scarcely 
had Congress responded with the required grant when 
news was received of fighting, and of General Zachary 
Taylor's early victories. A new generation had come 
upon the stage of active life since we had been engaged 
in war, and all the intelligence from Mexico was received 
with breathless attention by our public. 

The legislature ordered the assembling of a convention 
to submit to it a new charter for the city, to be voted 
upon at the State election in November, which, upon 
being submitted, was defeated by a very decisive vote. 

May 21, being Ascension Day in this year, the new 
Trinity Church was consecrated with great solemnity. A 
long procession of bishops, clergy, and lay dignitaries of 
various degree marched to the church, where the conse- 
cration office was said by Bishop McCoskry, at that time 
in charge of the diocese. This scene is represented in a 
panel of one of the bronze doors opening from the south 
porch of the church. The first church on this site was 
begun in 1696, finished in 1697. The third (and present) 
building still remains, after half a century, the most har- 
moniously beautiful church in New York. See Chapter 
IX for record of church. 

June i, the convention appointed to review and 
submit a new constitution for the State met, and when 



ANDREW H. MICKLE, MAYOR 429 

the Constitution was completed and submitted to the 
people, it was adopted by a large majority. Essential 
and much discussed provisions of it were the election of 
our judges, instead of their appointment by the Governor 
and Senate, and the abolishment of property qualifications 
for the voting of white persons. 

The new store of A. T. Stewart was completed in this 
year. 

In September died James Swords, aged eighty-two, the 
latest surviving partner of the oldest booksellers' and 
publishers' firm in New York; and in the next month 
Abraham Ogden, at the age of seventy-one, president of 
the Orient Insurance Co., and a highly respected citizen. 

November 16, the steamboat Atlantic from New London, 
bound here, encountered a severe gale from the north- 
west, and in a heavy swell the steampipe from her boilers 
to her steam-chest was ruptured and her engine became 
useless. An anchor was cast, but it fouled, and a second, 
a light one, being absurdly insufficient to hold her, she 
drifted eastward, and stranded on the north side of 
Fisher's Island. Captain Dustan and thirty of her pas- 
sengers and crew were lost. 

She was the " show " steamboat of her time. Frantic 
efforts were made to transfer heavier anchors to her 
from sailing craft, but the weather was too heavy to 
permit the success of these endeavors. After the 
steamer struck Fisher's Island, she took a list, just so 
that all through the night, while so many lives were 
being dashed out of existence on the heaped bowlders 
of this point of the Island, her bell tolled regularly 
with each shock of the waves. 

The faulty, if not criminal custom of equipping Ameri- 
can steamers and steamboats with but one heavy (?) and 
one light anchor, and with short ranges of chain, was 
fatally illustrated in this case. But one heavy anchor, 
fouling or in bad holding-ground, is of no avail, and if it is 



43 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



insufficient, it is rarely that the second and lighter will 
meet the deficiency. 

In Europe a steamer, would not be held to be seaworthy 
without both bower anchors being of equal and sufficient 
weight, supplemented by a stream-anchor and kedges; 




HELL GATE FERRY 

the anchor attached to a range of chain nearly twice 
that usually, if not universally, carried by our steamers. 

In this year St. Luke's Hospital was instituted through 
the zealous labors of the Rev. Dr. W. A. Muhlenberg. 
Also, all property qualifications in connection with the 
right of political suffrage were abolished. 

The Prison Association of New York was incorporated. 
Its objects, the improvement of the penal system, ameli- 
oration of the condition of prisoners, and the aiding of 
reformed convicts after their discharge. 



CHAPTER XXII 

1847-1848. ANDREW H. MICKLE, 1847; WILLIAM V. 

BRADY, 1847-1848; AND WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, 
1848, MAYORS 

JANUARY 13, members of the Sketch Club (established 
in 1827), with a few of their friends invited to join them 
for the purpose, founded the Century, which has ever 
remained a club of peculiar distinction. For two years 
the Century occupied rooms at 495 Broadway, removing 
in 1849 to 435 Broome Street, and again in the next year 
* 575 Broadway. From May, 1852, it occupied the 
house No. 24 Clinton Place, until in the spring of 1857 it 
removed to its house No. 109 (old No. 42) East Fifteenth 
Street, remaining there till (1892) it took possession of 
the beautiful new house now occupied at No. 7 West 
Forty-third Street. 

January 28, a party at Mr. Robert Ray's attracted all 
the fashion of the city and was the subject of remark, 
not only for the splendor of the entertainment, but 
because the new house was so far uptown. It stood at 
the corner of Twenty-eighth Street and Ninth Avenue, 
being the house lately removed (1894) from the place it 
had dignified with its fine proportions. 

The enlargement of the Erie Canal was commenced in 
this year and completed in 1862, the cost of which was 
six times that of the original, at its opening in 18.25; and 
up to 1856 reached $7,143,759, or a total, to 1862, of 
$52,491,915.74. 

April. The old Richmond Hill Theatre was rebuilt 
and renamed the Greenwich. 



432 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

In May Julia Dean appeared at the Bowery as Julia 
in "The Hunchback." She was a beautiful woman, 
modest, intelligent, painstaking, and deservedly popular. 

February 7, died James Roosevelt, eighty-seven years 
of age, much respected; the son of Isaac, who was one of 
the original directors and president of the first of our 
banks. 

In this month much activity was shown in the relief of 
the Irish sufferers from famine; a great meeting was 
held on the i6th at the Broadway Tabernacle, and by 
March i the Relief Committee had received more than 
fifty thousand dollars. Alexander T. Stewart char- 
tered and furnished a ship loaded with provisions for 
the relief of the suffering people, and, if I mistake not, 
that munificent citizen, the late Eugene Kelly, did a 
like act. 

News of General Taylor's striking victory of Buena 
Vista was received on March 31, and May 7 was ordered 
by the authorities as a day of rejoicing for this victory 
and the later capture of Vera Cruz by a combined bom- 
bardment of the Army and Navy, the former under 
General Scott, and the latter under Commodore Perry. 
This was a most brilliant fete; the city was thronged with 
visitors and seemed covered with flags, under which a 
great military procession took its way, greeted by the 
triumphant voice of cannon. A general illumination in 
the evening was witnessed by even greater crowds than 
had attended the daylight observances. Scarcely was 
this celebration over when news arrived of Scott's victory 
of Cerro Gordo, the rout of the Mexican army, and the 
flight of General Santa Anna; the capture of the Mexican 
general's wooden leg adding to the hilarity of our people 
over a success so great. 

May 22, Stone Street was widened from Whitehall to 
Broad Street. 

June i, the steamer Washington left for Liverpool; 



WILLIAM V. BRADY, MAYOR 



435 



she was the first American steamship to cross the ocean 
in the mail and passenger service. 

About the first of June a steamboat race occurred 
between the Commodore Vanderbilt, owned by him, and 
the Oregon, owned by 
George Law, from New 
York up the river to 
Croton Point, and re- 
turn. The Oregon won, 
covering the distance 
of seventy-five miles in 
three hours and a quar- 
ter. The interest in 
this race was greater 
than any ever mani- 
fested here; far in ad- 
vance of that shown in 
the races of the Albany 
Line boats or the High- 
lander and Robert L. 
Stevens; it was equal to 
that of the later con- 
tests between the R. E. 
Lee and Natchez, from 
New Orleans to St. 
Louis. In order to re- 
duce the draught of 
the vessels they were 
docked, the bottoms cleaned; furniture, ornaments, and 
all unnecessary articles were taken on shore; and pre- 
vious to the day of the race the Oregon's inner bottom 
(that is, between her frames) was freed of water by 
sponges where it could not be reached by dippers. In 
unison with this regard of lessening of draught of water, 
the necessary supply of coal was carefully estimated; but 
in the case of the Oregon it fell short when near the end 




TUYVESANT PEAR-TREE, NORTH-EAST 
CORNER OF THIRTEENTH STREET AND 
THIRD AVENUE 



434 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of the course, and every loose article that could be 
spared, together with some joinery, was sacrificed to feed 
the fires. 

Commodore Vanderbilt was much disappointed; the 
loss of the money was not considered: it was the one who 
had defeated him. He bore his defeat manfully, how- 
ever, but in relating to me how he was defeated he 
evinced his feeling. It was to him what Moscow in the 
Russian campaign was to Napoleon his first defeat. 

July 27, George Kirk, a slave who had absconded from 
his master in Georgia, upon being claimed as a fugitive, 
was taken before Judge Edmonds, who ordered his re- 
lease. The assemblage of negroes on this occasion was 
without precedent; the streets leading to the Court- 
house were blocked by vociferous and excited crowds. 

July 30, Christ Church in Ann Street burned and 
destroyed. 

August 6. Peter G. Stuyvesant died, a man closely 
concerned with the best social life of New York, the 
representative of an enduring "Knickerbocker" family, 
and possessor of a great colonial estate. This reminds 
me that the Stuyvesant pear-tree, then and for years 
afterward standing at the north-east corner of Third Ave- 
nue and Thirteenth Street, had reached the age of two 
hundred years in May, and therefore became an object of 
perhaps peculiar regard, though it had long been viewed 
as an interesting relic. This tree was brought from 
Holland by Governor Stuyvesant and planted with his 
own hands on his farm, in the place where it stood until 
its lamented fall. About 1835 ^ was protected by a stout 
wooden railing, which afterward gave place to one of 
iron, in which condition the venerable tree will be well 
remembered by many of my readers, for it flourished at 
least so lately as the year 1867. 

In mid-September arrived news of General Scott's 
victory of Cherubusco, the first in the series of his sue- 



WILLIAM V. BRADY, MAYOR 435 

cesses under the walls of the City of Mexico, gained 
against enormous odds of numbers. The public excite- 
ment over the bulletins was very great and perhaps 
specially in New York, many of whose sons were with 
Scott's army. 

September 18, in the morning the Bowery Theatre was 
wholly consumed by fire. Gabriel Ravel's benefit was 
announced for the evening another instance of the ap- 
parent connection between benefits and fires. 

September 25, died Major William Popham, aged 
ninety-five, last surviving original member of the Society 
of the Cincinnati, a man who had served his country well, 
and whose person and gentle, amiable character were 
long regarded with affectionate veneration by his fellow- 
citizens of the town which he had seen to increase from 
a village of perhaps twelve thousand inhabitants to a city 
of near half-a-million. 

October 19, the corner-stone of a monument of Wash- 
ington was laid in Hamilton Square on Lenox Hill ; but 
the monument never was raised. 

The Hamburg-American Packet Co., hence to Ham- 
burg, was established. 

The Twenty-seventh Regiment of State militia was 
reorganized as the Seventh. 

At the end of October came intelligence of the victories 
of Molino del Rey and Chapultepec, and General Scott's 
triumphant entry into the City of Mexico. Besides the 
personal interest in the fortunes of individuals in our 
army this news was most important in the general or 
political sense, bringing in near view the close of the war, 
which in fact was speedily ended thereafter; the treaty 
of Guadalupe Hidalgo being signed on February 2, next 
ensuing. 

New York was very deeply concerned in the conduct 
of this war. It was a New Yorker, Commodore John 
Drake Sloat, who with his ship outraced the British and 



436 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

insured our occupation of California by raising the 
American flag at Monterey. General William J. Worth 
was a mainstay of General Scott through all of his brill- 
iant campaign. The monument now standing opposite 
the west side of Madison Square records his deeds. 
General John E. Wool, after serving in the field during 
the earlier part of the war, was afterward most efficient 
in forwarding troops. He sent twelve thousand men, 
fully equipped, within six weeks. Philip Kearny, a 
native of this city, was the first man to enter the gates 
of the City of Mexico, and in the list of those most 
famed for gallant conduct in action were the names of 
Hamilton, Schuyler, Morris, Thorn, Graham, and others 
of New York's leading families. 

At the end of this year the managers of the Cunard 
Line found it necessary to abandon their purpose of 
making Boston their sole American port, and began to 
send half of their ships to New York. A meeting of 
merchants was convened for the purpose of giving a 
welcome to the commander of the Hibernia, the first 
Cunarder in the New York service-. 

In 1843 t ne Hibernia had been added to the line, and 
in 1845 the Cambria. In 1847 tne British Government 
required a double service and increased the compensa- 
tion to ^173,340 sterling per annum. To comply with 
this requirement four new steamers were built, viz. : 
America, Niagara, Canada, and Europa, in 1850 they 
were followed by the Asia and in 1852 by the Arabia, all 
of which from the first to the last, had been and were 
side-wheelers. In the latter part of the year four iron 
screw-propeller vessels were added, viz. : Australian, Syd- 
ney, Andes, and Alps, they being the first fitted with 
accommodations for emigrants. In 1856 the company 
responded to the prejudice of its patrons and con- 
structed the side-wheeler Persia; subsequently to this 
the Scotia was built, which vessel reduced the passage 



WILLIAM V. BRADY, MAYOR 437 

between Liverpool and this port to eight days and 
twenty-two hours. As many saloon passengers now leave 
Liverpool in one week of an autumn month as were 
carried in the whole of the first year of the operation of 
the line. 

An event then of concern to many New Yorkers was 
the reduction at this time of the fixed term of service 
for (volunteer) firemen from seven to five years. In 
1816 a period of service had been first established, to 
allow to the firemen exemption from jury and military 
duty. The required term at first was ten years. In 
1829 it was reduced to seven years, and now the further 
reduction to five years met with general approval, for 
this exemption was the only substantial reward received 
for their difficult and valuable service by the rank and file, 
though the chief engineer of the department received a 
salary, and for a few years his assistants also were paid. 

The German Liederkranz was founded in this year and 
still flourishes in great strength, though having thrown 
off, by a process of fision, the equally important Arion 
Society. It maintains upon its roll the names of many 
of our native citizens. 

Plans for widening Broadway from Forty-fifth to 
Seventy-first streets were submitted on May 5 of this 
year, and on December n the scheme for widening the 
same street just above its junction with Fifth Avenue 
(where the Worth monument stands). 

The New York Hotel at 721 Broadway, between Wash- 
ington and Waverly places, was opened by S. B. Monnot. 
The building of this hotel, at the time so far up-town, 
was held by the pessimists to be a very wild and perilous 
undertaking. Monnot came to the country as a cook, 
and having realized a small capital, he embarked in this 
enterprise, which proved to be very successful. Upon 
his retirement the house was leased and operated by 
Hiram Cranston. 



43& REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

This year was a time of considerable and varied in- 
terest in stage affairs. Palmo's Opera House presented 
the ingenious Samuel Lover (author of " Handy Andy "), 
in entertainments of songs, anecdotes, and recitations, 
and followed with a new opera company, which included 
Signorina Clotilda Barili, half-sister to Adelina Patti, a 
charming young woman, who was esteemed a " divinity " 
by the young men of our society, and who married in the 
next year a son of Colonel Thome. It was nearing its 
end as a home of opera, and in the next year gave way 
to the new Astor Place enterprise and became Burton's 
Theatre. 

At the Bowery Mary Taylor, from the Olympic, began 
her first engagement as a star in New York, in January, 
becoming a very general favorite. 

August. The old manager Simpson opened the Park 
for what proved to be his last season, with an English 
version of "Linda," in which appeared Mme. Anna 
Bishop, then alike beautiful and fascinating. She was 
the wife of Sir Henry Bishop, the composer. 

Castle Garden was opened at the end of June with a 
good dramatic company. The Havana Opera Company 
appeared here in the middle of August, playing on 
alternate nights, and thus continued for a month. 

September 27. The Broadway Theatre, between Pearl 
and Anthony (Worth) streets, opened with the " School 
for Scandal" and "Used Up"; Henry Wallack in the 
part of Sir Peter Teazle, his first appearance in New York 
for seven years. Very notable is the Sir Charles Cold- 
stream of this evening, for it was the debut in this country 
of " Mr. Lester," as the housebills announced, in other 
words John Lester Wallack, who thus began his long 
career in New York. 

November. In this year was built the Astor Place 
Opera House, mournfully famous for events happening 
there not long after. This was a delightful theatre, con- 



WILLIAM V. BRADY, MAYOR 439 

taining about 1800 seats (700 of them in the gallery). 
Max Maretzek said of it that ''every. body could see, and 
what is of greater consequence, could be seen. Never, 
perhaps, was any theatre built that afforded a better 
opportunity for the display of dress." The house was 
opened on the 22d, with " Ernani." 

December 12 died Chancellor James Kent, at the age 
of eighty-four, a man most eminent for the just respect 
and affection of his fellows. His funeral, from Calvary 
Church on December 15, became a great public function, 
being attended by the Common Council, the members of 
the bar in a body, and a multitudinous company of citi- 
zens. Flags were at half-mast on the public buildings 
and the shipping in the harhor. 

A day or two after another old and respected citizen, 
Peter A. Mesier, died suddenly at seventy-four. 

December 16. There was introduced here a corps of 
danseuses, known as the Viennoise, some eighty or more in 
number; they made their debut at the Park Theatre. 
Their performances were of a character and style wholly 
different from any thing of the kind we had ever seen, 
and they were well patronized; but for a short period 
only, as their exhibitions were too uniform in their 
character. 

The volume of ship-building in this city for the year 
was 39,918 tons launched and 29,870 in process of con- 
struction on the stocks, employing 2300 workmen. 

1848. The inmates of the Almshouse at Bellevue were 
transferred to the new buildings on Blackwell's Island. 

The New York and Erie Railroad was completed to 
Port Jervis, N. Y., on January 6. 

January 20, the body of a female, upon being disinterred 
from a grave in the German Cemetery seventeen years 
after interment, was found to be perfect in form and in 
appearance. 

March 7, Henry Clay visited New York as the guest of 



44 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

the Mayor and Corporation. He was received at Castle 
Garden by his entertainers and a great concourse of citi- 
zens. The next day he attended the impressive cere- 
monies with which New York received the body of 
John Quincy Adams, who had died on February 23, after 
a paralytic seizure on February 21, while in his seat at 
the Capitol, engaged in the discharge of duty. It was 
said that this funeral observance was shared by the 
largest assemblage of people which ever had gathered in 
New York. Mr. Clay remained in town for several days, 
being the centre of many gatherings, and the recipient 
of honors unwonted and sometimes inconvenient, since 
crowds attended wherever he was expected to be found. 

March 29, John Jacob Astor died, aged eighty-four, 
leaving, perhaps, the greatest fortune then existing in 
the country, and certainly the greatest in "quick assets"; 
the whole of it acquired by his own diligence and sagacity. 
His funeral was on April i, from the house of his son 
William B., in Lafayette Place. By bequest of four hun- 
dred thousand dollars in Mr. Astor's will, the Astor 
Library was founded. This idea he had adopted in 1838, 
and in March, 1842, had appointed Dr. Cogswell to be 
Librarian. The Library was incorporated January 13, 
1849. 

February 10, at the Olympic Theatre, Chanfrau first 
appeared as Mose, the Bowery b'hoy, in a play written 
by Baker, the prompter, named "New York in 1848." 
Rewritten and enlarged, and renamed "A Glance at 
New York," it ran for seventy nights. Mary Taylor as 
Lize became very famous. 

April 2, occurred one of the many tragical incidents 
in the adventurous experience of the New York Fire 
Department. Fire broke out in a sugar-house in Duane 
Street, and George Kerr, an assistant engineer, and 
Henry Fargis, assistant foreman of Engine 38, while in 
the discharge of duty were killed under a falling wall, 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 441 

which severely injured several others of the force. Kerr 
and Fargis were buried in Greenwood by the Firemen's 
Monument Association, which had been erected after a 
design by Mr. Robert E. Launitz. 

May 12, Harlem Railroad opened to Croton Falls. 

May 26. Fire destroyed the stables of Kipp & Brown, 
stage proprietors, at Ninth Avenue and Twenty-sixth 
Street, consuming 27 stages and 130 horses. 

April n, Schumann's "Paradise and the Peri" was 
first given in this country, with a chorus of 120 and 
orchestra of 60, I think under Mr. Henry C. Timm. 
Mr. Timm produced Rossini's " Stabat Mater," also for 
the first time in America, at about this date. 

April 12, the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. was incor- 
porated, but its steamers were not operated from this 
city until the departure of the Henry Chauncey to Colon 
on November i, 1865. 

In May Major-general Winfield Scott was received by 
the city authorities and an eager crowd enthusiastic over 
the hero of the march to Mexico. There had been talk 
of his nomination by the Whigs for the Presidency (as 
indeed happened in 1852). The convention on June 9 
at Philadelphia preferred General Taylor, as a more 
"available" candidate than either Scott or Henry Clay, 
whose nomination was warmly urged, but who met on 
this occasion his final disappointment. 

June 5 Simpson was obliged to give up, and abandoned 
the Park Theatre, where for thirty-eight years he had 
been stage-manager or manager. He had made great 
sums, but had lost them, and sold out for an annuity of fif- 
teen hundred dollars, but was so affected by his misfor- 
tunes that he died almost immediately. He was a man of 
so much importance in his vocation that after his death 
a public meeting was called by the Mayor at the Astor 
House, at which suitable resolutions were adopted, 
characterizing the departed manager as an " exemplary 



442 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

instance of probity, usefulness, and virtue," and suggest- 
ing benefits for his family a suggestion that resulted 
in a very liberal series/ The " School for Scandal" was 
given with a cast including Placide, Blake, Burton, Bar- 
rett, Richings, Walcot, Henry Hunt, etc. a most re- 
markable conjunction. The series of the Simpson benefits 
about this date included a reading of " Hamlet" by 
Macready, a concert at the Astor Place Opera House, 
and performances at Burton's, the National, and the 
Olympic. 

Hambliri, the Bowery manager, undertook to revive 
the glories of the old Park, and this fall reopened that 
theatre, very extensively remodelled, improved, and 
beautified. Even in the pit there were cushioned seats, 
in place of the ancient boards covered with canvas. 

In June a benefit was given at the Broadway Theatre 
for Kipp & Brown, sufferers from the fire hereinbefore 
noted, and one for the widow and children of Samuel 
Pray, an attache" of the house who had been strangely 
killed through the falling upon him of the heavy curtain- 
roller. Two of Pray's three daughters became Mrs. Bar- 
ney Williams and Mrs. W. J. Florence. 

July 10, the Keying, a Chinese junk, arrived here, 
being the first and only one up to this time (1895) that 
ever reached America. 

The New York daily Tribune (Horace Greeley) joined 
in the popular cry regarding the constructive mileage of 
members of Congress. In illustration, when a Congress 
ceased to exist, as at 12 M. on the alternate 4th of 
March, and the President had convened a session of the 
Senate for Executive action upon his nominations for 
office, some Senators would claim mileage for their con- 
structive journey home, and their return again in one 
day, added to which, it was also charged that members 
did not take the shortest routes to and from Washington, 
and this expose" evolved some epithets regarding Greeley's 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 443 

action which were not in any wise laudatory or compli- 
mentary to him, but they should have been. 

In September news reached New York of the dis- 
covery of gold in California, and thus began one of the 
most fascinating chapters of our history. In three 
years California was transformed from a wild region, 
containing about fifteen thousand white population, into a 
State with more than a quarter of a million people. So 
sudden were the discovery of gold and its effects that in 
a Gazetteer, or Geographical Dictionary, bearing a pub- 
lisher's date of 1852, may be found, in the article " Cali- 
fornia," the amusing line: "So far as known, minerals 
are of very little importance." 

In this month an event happened of great consequence 
in the musical history of New York and the entire 
country. The Germania Orchestra arrived here on Sep- 
tember 25, and gave its first concert at the Astor Place 
Opera House on October 5. Our public was little 
schooled in orchestra music, and with small knowledge 
felt little interest; the concerts therefore showed bad 
pecuniary results. The orchestra next tried Philadelphia, 
but there utterly failed, and disbanded. Happening, 
however, to be called to Washington for a performance, 
they rallied for that purpose and met with a reception 
so different that they ventured to test Baltimore. Being 
very successful there, they attempted Boston, where 
they excited much enthusiasm. In consequence of such 
encouragement, the orchestra resumed its original pur- 
pose, and went concertizing through the States for some 
years; becoming famous. The company disbanded in 
September, 1854, its members applying themselves to the 
private exercise of their profession. By those subse- 
quent labors, as well as by their concerts, the members 
of the Germania greatly accelerated the progress of 
musical culture in America, and deserve a grateful re- 
membrance. 



444 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

October 3, Broadway was ordered to be widened from 
Twenty-first to Twenty-fifth Street. 

July 10, Palmo's Opera House, from which the lyric 
drama had retreated uptown, was opened as Burton's 
Theatre, with John Brougham as stage-manager. The 
venture was not instantly successful, but on the 24th 
some public attention was secured by the production of 
" Dombey and Son" for the first time on any stage, in 
John Brougham's version; Brougham doubling Bunsby 
and Bagstock, Mrs. Brougham playing Susan Nipper, and 
Burton Cap'n Cuttle. 

In October Maurice Power, son of the great Tyrone, 
appeared and disappointed expectation. 

November 18, another fire in omnibus stables de- 
stroyed the property of the Murphys at Third Avenue 
and Twenty-seventh Street; consuming 150 horses, 25 
stages, and 25 sleighs, and involving two churches, a 
parsonage, and a public school. While this was in prog- 
ress a new alarm was caused by fire at the Bowery and 
Broome Street; a fresh conflagration then broke out at 
Thirty-fifth Street and Eighth Avenue. These were all 
burning when the distracted firemen were further called 
to burning stables in West Seventeenth Street. The 
town seemed to be full of threatening flame and light. 

December n, Hamblin appeared as Richard, the 
play being given with the rich Kean appointments. It 
was the last tragedy ever seen at the Park. Decem- 
ber 16, just before opening the doors for Mme. Mon- 
plaisir's benefit (again the ill omen), a hanging file of 
playbills blown against a lighted gas-jet communicated 
fire to the scenery, and within an hour the house was 
entirely burned out. It never was rebuilt. The first 
performance at the Park was on January 29, 1798. 

This year witnessed the rise of modern " spiritualism," 
through the delusion or deception then known as "the 
Rochester Knockings. " These arose in a family named 









WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 445 

Fox, then living in Wayne County, but afterward remov- 
ing to Rochester, N. Y., as their fame extended, in order 
to seek a wider field for their mysterious knocks on walls 
or floors, table-tipping, etc. In Rochester the Fox girls 
gave public exhibitions, and in 1856 appeared before 
audiences in this city. In the same year the late D. D. 
Home (Hume) first appeared as a " medium," being then 
seventeen years old. Afterward he visited Europe and 
produced "manifestations" before several crowned 
heads. Mediums then and afterward multiplied, and 
a new sect of Spiritualist believers sprang up. Many 
strange things were performed by the mediums, some of 
which were proved indubitably to be fraudulent imposi- 
tions. Men of science have investigated the mediumistic 
manifestations with the conclusion that, after all abate- 
ment, a residuum might remain, which must be attributed 
to some force not yet understood. The mediums never 
have discovered or declared any new truth of science to 
the world, and if they are prompted by spirits, then it is 
certain that the spirits have made very little advance on 
their earthly conditions. 

The election of November, resulting in the choice of 
General Taylor for President, was a sweeping victory for 
the Whigs and their last. 

December 28, the New York and Erie Railroad was 
opened to Binghamton, N. Y. In this year, Woodhull & 
Minturn retiring from business, their ships were pur- 
chased by Grinnell, Minturn & Co. 

About this period flourished Henry C. Marx; more gen- 
erally known as "Dandy Marx," and so designated from 
his style of dress and manner of wearing it added to a 
waxed moustache, the first essay of the kind that ever was 
seen on Broadway or elsewhere in this city. He originated 
and commanded a company of Hussars; and despite .his 
apparent effeminacy, he was manly, bold, and generous. 
He left three sisters, who resided at 673 Broadway. 



446 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

In a file of an old newspaper, I noticed the case of one 
having been duped by a swindle at that time and for some 
years after known as the "pocket-book drop," then a 
favorite trick; but of late years fallen into disuse, prob- 
ably because the "sawdust game " presents a more ex- 
tensive field of operation and more profitable, with less 
risk; inasmuch as the victim, being just as much a cul- 
prit as the operator, unless of so low a grade that he 
prefers his money to his character, naturally forbears 
presenting a complaint that manifests his own criminality. 

At this period the fashion of negro minstrelsy must 
have been about at its height as a popular influence. 
This form of amusement originated with " Dan" Emmett 
and some of his friends as early as 1842; the first public 
performances being those of the "Virginia Minstrels" 
in 1843, hereinbefore mentioned. They were an utter 
novelty, and caught the popular fancy. Buckley's " New 
Orleans Serenaders " were organized in the same year 
(1843), and by 1845 or J846 many travelling troupes were 
on the road, carrying the new diversion even to the 
smaller towns. One of these that I remember included 
in its number an actual negro, who played the bones 
with great skill; and indeed the rage for negro delinea- 
tion very largely infected the blacks, so that eventually 
several companies of them were formed, which went 
about the country engaged in somewhat extravagant 
imitation of themselves. 

E. P. Christy did more than any other man to regular- 
ize this entertainment and give it the form which became 
characteristic, and his company was easily at the head of 
all those extant at that day. "Christy's Minstrels" ap- 
peared early in 1846, at Mechanics' Hall, No. 472 Broad- 
way, and remained there for nine years, becoming famous 
throughout the country. His "star" was George 
Christy (Harrington), who, I believe, had for a time a 
company of his own at 444 Broadway, which became 






WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 447 

another noted seat of minstrelsy. After E. P. Christy's 
retirement, George Christy managed both companies; 
George and " Billy" Birch were the " bones" of the two 
troupes. I knew Birch's father, who spelled the name 
Burch a queer old man, of much dry wit; he thought 
that his son was the greatest living American. "Billy" 
afterward suffered shipwreck, I think, in the loss of the 
Central America, and it was related that while he was 
floating on a hencoop or some such convenient and use- 
ful object, tenderly bearing his canary-bird, he came 
upon one of his friends tossing in the sea, to whom he 
called to "come in out of the wet," thereupon helping 
him to a place on the hencoop. Birch's after career 
with his San Francisco Minstrels is known to very 
modern readers. 

Such readers, however, will fail to understand the 
extent and power of the minstrel "craze" when it was 
at its height. The reach of its influence was very wide. 
New " negro songs " were sent out almost daily from the 
publishers' presses and were sung all over the land. I 
do not know whether Stephen C. Foster had yet begun 
to write his songs, but many of those then issued were of 
singular sweetness, and the use of them was almost uni- 
versal. Households that had amused themselves with 
singing English opera (which had been greatly in fashion) 
and English glees and part-songs, turned to the new 
melodies. Besides the original compositions, a crowd of 
parodies appeared: " The Mellow Horn " became " The 
Yellow Corn"; Balfe's air, " I Dreamt that I Dwelt in 
Marble Halls," was Africanized into "I Dreamt that I 
Dwelt in Hotel Walls," etc., etc. Many of the earliest 
minstrel melodies are still in use; it is but this winter 
(1895) that I heard a great company of gentlemen sing- 
ing " Dearest Mae." Indeed the whole "movement" 
lasted long; " Bryant's Minstrels " were organized so 
lately as 1857, and remained before the public till the 



448 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

death of " Dan " Bryant, about twenty years ago. Other 
troupes, besides those here mentioned, Campbell's, 
Wood's, Kelly & Leon's, Morris Bros.', Pell & Trow- 
bridge's, and many more, flourished greatly during the 
reign of negro minstrelsy. 

The New York and Harlem Railroad was opened to 
Dover in this year. 

Comparatively, it is but a few years since the Venetian 
style of awnings and shades has been introduced. Un- 
til an ordinance was passed regulating the height of awn- 
ing-posts, and later one requiring their removal, awnings 
extended from buildings and were attached to the posts 
which were set inside the curb. 

It was in this year that a local company was organ- 
ized and the steamers Washington and Hermann were con- 
structed for service between this city and Southampton, 
England, and bearing the United States Mail. Their 
design in both model, power, and rig was not conducive 
to high speed, nor was the construction of their engines 
such as to maintain the success that was presaged for 
them, either at home or abroad, and the service was con- 
tinued but for a very few years. 

Mr. E. K. Collins had essayed from as early as 1840 to 
induce the Government to give a line of vessels a suffi- 
cient subsidy for the bi-weekly transportation of the 
mails between this port and Liverpool, but it was not 
until this year that by the joint aid of Albert G. Sloo, who 
was seeking to obtain a subsidy for a line of steamers 
hence to California via the Isthmus route, and Arnold 
Harris, who was seeking for one to Astoria and to 
Chagres via Havana, that success was obtained; the 
Government granting to Collins and his associates, for a 
term of ten years, the compensation of three hundred 
and eighty-five thousand dollars per annum; the service 
to consist of two round trips a month between New 
York and Liverpool during eight months of the year, 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 449 

and one round trip a month during the remaining four 
months of the year. The first sailing under the contract 
occurred on the 2yth of April. 

The " Sloo contract " was also for a term of ten years, 
at the compensation of two hundred and ninety thousand 
dollars per annum; the service to consist of two round 
trips a month between New York and New Orleans, 
touching at Charleston, Savannah, and Havana; and in 
connection therewith, two round trips per month between 
Havana and Chagres. The first sailing under the con- 
tract occurred in December. 

A contract was also entered into with Mr. Arnold 
Harris for the conveyance of mails from Panama to 
Astoria, Ore., to connect with the service from Havana 
to Chagres. This contract required a round trip once a 
month for a term of ten years from the ist of October, 
1848, for a compensation of one hundred and ninety-nine 
thousand dollars per annum. 

The contracts in question were modified in various 
ways during the term of ten years; but the original terms 
were as given above. 

The Collins Line (the New York and Liverpool line of 
steamers) was established in this year by the construction 
of the steamers Atlantic and Pacific. 




BEEKMAN GREENHOUSE 



CHAPTER XXIII 

1849, 1850, 1851. WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, 1849; CALEB S. 
WOODHULL, 1850; AND AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, 1851, 
MAYORS 

1849. THE California fever reached its height in this 
" Argonaut year," and the name of ''Forty-niners" has 
become a familiar title of honor applied to the early 
emigrants to that State. It would be hard to convey to 
younger readers an adequate notion of the degree of 
popular excitement over the gold discoveries of the new 
empire, and of the extent to which it spread throughout 
the older parts of the country. Every seaport of con- 
sequence despatched vessels for San Francisco; ninety- 
nine of them, transporting 5719 passengers, left here via 
Panama, Nicaragua, Darien, and other routes, and bearing 
such merchandise as might be thought fit for a market, 
and many of the best as well as of the worst of its young 
men, all eager in the search for wealth. Associations 
of men in all sections of the country organized as 
"Mining companies," and rushed for San Francisco in 
every available manner. The Pacific Mail Co. advanced 
the rate of passage by its steamers, and every machine 
shop in the city was employed in the manufacture of 
quartz-crushers to be transported to the mines. Of 
course New York was in the front of this enterprise, and 
the scene of the most animated interest. The events of 
that time seem yet like romance even to one who lived 
through them. Mercantile adventure with California 
was then most uncertain, owing to the infrequent and 
slow communication and consequent lack of sufficient 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 45 1 

information. With the whole commercial world seeking 
the new market, and no advices as to stocks on hand in 
San Francisco or on the way thither, shipments were 
in many cases pure speculation; sometimes resulting in 
heavy loss and sometimes in enormous profit. Merely 
by way of illustration I may relate the amusing tale of 
one shipper who, from such calculation or guesswork as 
circumstances allowed, concluded that some commodity 
I believe it was flour would be in demand when his ship 
should reach San Francisco, and loaded for that port 
accordingly. When loading, he happened to find obtain- 
able a great quantity of damaged dried beans, which he 
got for a trifle, or perhaps for nothing but the cost of 
cartage, and used for dunnage of his cargo. On arrival 
at San Francisco it was found that other shippers had 
made similar calculations and the harbor was full of 
newly arrived flour, for which no price could be obtained. 
But there were no beans to be had, with a keen demand 
for them, and our friend -threw away his cargo, and out 
of the dunnage realized a handsome profit on the whole 
adventure. Such were the chances of California com- 
merce in 1849. 

In January Burton's Theatre presented a dramatization 
by Brougham of Thackeray's "Vanity Fair," which ran 
only for a week, though Caroline Chapman as Becky 
Sharp was greatly admired. In April a piece entitled 
"Socialism," in which Brougham, as Fourier Grisley, 
made up in close imitation of Horace Greeley, attracted 
amused houses for three weeks. 

At the National Theatre in April, at Mrs. Isherwood's 
benefit, Chanfrau played Mose for the three hundredth 
time. 

February i, the Collins Line steamers Atlantic and 
Pacific were launched. 

In March Mrs. Fanny Kemble Butler began her read- 
ings from Shakspere, which became popular almost beyond 



452 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

belief at the present day. The place where she read 
(the Stuyvesant Institution, in Broadway) was thronged 
on every occasion, hours before the time set for the 
reading, though Mrs. Butler's appearances were four 
times a week. 

The defeat of the charter submitted in 1846 being 
generally regretted, and the existing one being held 
insufficient in some important provisions, it was decided 
to apply to the legislature for some amendments to it, 
in preference to risking the submission of a new one, 
but on April 2 a charter was enacted to take effect on 
June i; subject, however, to the approval of the people, 
who at the ensuing election approved of it. The day 
of municipal election was changed from April to Novem- 
ber, the term of offices to begin on the ist of January 
ensuing, and the term of office of the mayor extended 
to two years, and the system of Departments as the 
Police, Finance, Almshouse, Law, Croton Aqueduct, 
Fire, Repairs and Supplies was established, the heads 
of which (save the head of the Croton Aqueduct Board) 
were to be elected by the people. 

April 15. From December 14 of the previous year to 
this date, or a period of four months, one hundred and 
five steamers and sailing vessels left this port for San 
Francisco, either via the Isthmus or around Cape Horn. 

Advices from abroad, via Liverpool, were borne by the 
Cunard steamer, via Halifax and St. John, N. B., and 
from thence by telegraph here. 

May 7, Macready, the tragedian, began an engagement 
at the Astor Place Opera House under Hackett & Niblo, 
with Macbeth. Edwin Forrest, then playing at the 
Broadway Theatre, announced the same part for the 
same evening. This did not tend to diminish the bitter- 
ness of Forrest's partisans, who resented any rivalry of 
their favorite, and whose feelings were inflamed by 
reports that during a recent visit to England Forrest had 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 453 

been treated in an offensive manner through the envi- 
ous influence of Macready. They therefore organized 
a party to attend the Opera House performance, raise a 
riot, and drive Macready from the stage. This was 
successfully accomplished; so soon as the actor appeared 
abusive cries rose from different parts of the house and 
a shower of unsavory missiles, as rotten eggs and assafoe- 
tida, was cast upon the stage. There were groans, hisses, 
cheers, yells, screams, " Off, off ! " " Go on, go on, go on ! " 
and the display of a banner with " You have ever proved 
a liar," " No apology, it is the truth," the singing of the 
song of the witches, " Where's Macready ?" and in the 
continuing and increasing uproar the performance was 
suspended at the end of the third act, and the audience 
dispersed. 

Macready would have resigned his engagement, but 
was persuaded to continue by the urgency of an "open 
letter " addressed to him by some of our worthiest and 
prominent citizens, deploring the riot, and praying him 
to remain, and give the better class of the community 
a chance to manifest their approval of him and their 
detestation of the riotous proceedings. He assented, 
and Thursday, May 10, was chosen for his reappearance. 
Forrest posted the same play for the same night; his 
adherents issued notices, organized meetings, published 
an exceptionally inflammatory card in the Herald, and 
deputed persons to buy tickets and take possession of 
the Opera House on the night of the performance. 
Counter-preparations were made, however; the sale of 
tickets was refused to persons of suspicious appearance, 
the house was guarded inside and out by three hundred 
police, those offering to enter it were carefully scrutin- 
ized, and the doors and windows were closed and barred 
after the audience had assembled. The house was filled 
with an audience of an exceptionally high character, in 
general, but a few of the disaffected had got in, and so 



454 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

soon as Macready had appeared he was hooted by several 
persons, evidently and purposely located in different 
parts of the auditorium, in order to give a general 
character to the manifestation. This was followed by 
missiles, thrown at him on the stage. Fear and con- 
fusion prevailed in the audience until the police arrested 
the ringleaders and measurably succeeded in restoring 
confidence, when the performance was permitted to 
proceed. 

When the mob of some thousands., gathered in Astor 
Place, learned what had occurred in the theatre, it made 
a general attack upon the police, and overcoming them, 
endeavoring to storm the building by battering in the 
doors and windows. At this juncture the Seventh Regi- 
ment, which had been held in waiting, marched up at 
nine o'clock, preceded by cavalry, cleared Eighth Street, 
and occupied Astor Place. The horse troop, however, 
was repulsed by an attack from the mob, the horses 
becoming unmanageable in the wild scene, and Colonel 
Duryee then ordered his men to load with ball. The 
Riot Act was proclaimed by Recorder Tallmadge, but 
without effect. Whereupon Sheriff John J. V. Wester- 
velt, adopting the ineffective, cruel, inexplicable, and 
unfortunate manner of proceeding so common in such 
cases, ordered a volley over the heads of the people. 
This killed and injured inoffensive men and women in 
adjacent windows, and both angered and encouraged the 
mob, which replied with a fierce attack on the regiment. 
A well-aimed volley followed, and the mob retreated. 
Astor Place was then picketed, but the restoration of 
order was only temporary, for the mob shortly returned 
from Third Avenue and attacked with paving-stones. A 
third volley scattered them finally; killing seventeen and 
wounding twenty-six. 

In this affair one hundred and forty-one of the Seventh 
and many of the police were wounded, thirty-four of the 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 455 

mob and spectators were killed in all, and a great, though 
unknown, number injured. Macready escaped by a rear 
door of the Opera House and was secreted for two days 
in Judge Emmet's house, whence he proceeded in dis- 
guise to Boston on the day before the sailing of the 
steamer from that port on which he took passage for 
England. Great praise was given to the Seventh Regi- 
ment for its self-control and gallant conduct under 
orders, although on the next day a meeting of the baser 
sort was held in the Park, where inflammatory speeches 
contrary to law and order were made. These, however, 
issued in no action; or at least in nothing more than the 
nickname of " Massacre" Place Opera House. 

An investigation of the matter revealed the fact that 
tickets to the theatre were gratuitously distributed to 
persons who were afterward engaged in the riot, by some 
of the parties who signed the card calling upon Ma- 
cready to fill his engagement. 

E. Z. C. Judson, who had gained much notoriety as a 
writer of sensational stories, known as " yellow-covered," 
over the signature of " Ned Buntline," took a conspicu- 
ous part in this riot, was arrested, convicted, sentenced 
to one year's imprisonment and a fine of two hundred 
and fifty dollars. 

The supporters of Forrest had been drawn to the 
scene of the riot by the effect of handbills, in which 
statements were made designed to excite them. 

Hamblin appeared at the Bowery Theatre at this time, 
and in the same character, to an exceptionally crowded 
house. 

May 8, the New York Slave Vigilance Committee 
met in the church, corner of Prince and Marion streets. 
The chairman reported that fully two hundred runaway 
slaves had been provided for. Frederick Douglass. was 
then introduced, and he related his escape from slavery. 

May 1 8, the steamboat Empire, hence to Albany, in 



456 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

being directed across the bow of a schooner beating down 
the river, was run into and sunk, with the loss of four of 
her passengers. 

The administration of the Department of Charities and 
Correction was so generally commented upon and cen- 
sured that the legislature transferred its direction to a 
board of ten governors. 

The steamer United States, built by Wm. H. Webb for 
Chas. H. Marshall & Go's, line to Liverpool, entered 
upon service in this year. 

"The Trustees of the Astor Library" incorporated, 
being the library founded by the will of John Jacob Astor 
as a public library, for general use, accessible at all regular 
hours and free of expense to persons resorting thereto; 
later Wm. B. Astor doubled the endowment of his father, 
" On the understanding that it was the settled and 
unchangeable basis of administering the library that its 
contents should remain in the library rooms for use by 
readers, and should not be lent or allowed to be taken 
from the rooms." 

It received a third endowment from John Jacob Astor, 
grandson of the founder, making the total amount 
two million dollars. The number of volumes at this 
period (1894) is about two hundred and sixty thousand. 

By the new postage law, the domestic postage on 
single letters (half-ounce) was, for less than three hun- 
dred miles, 5 cents; over that, 10 cents. Foreign (half- 
ounce), 24 cents. 

New York suffered in this year a severe visitation of 
cholera, which appeared first in the Five Points on May 
14, and spread rapidly. The public-school buildings 
were turned into hospitals, and in them alone one thou- 
sand and twenty-one deaths from cholera occurred; the 
total mortality from the disease in this year being about 
five thousand. 

August 13 died Albert Gallatin, aged eighty-eight, 









WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 457 

whose accomplishments and public services are too well 
known to require record here. 

The Bowery Theatre opened early in September, under 
Hamblin. Lester Wallack made his first appearance here 
as Don Ccesar de Bazan a fortnight later. In November 
was produced the "The Three Guardsmen," adapted by 
him from Dumas, which obtained a very great success, 
holding the stage for thirty-four consecutive nights. J. 
W. Wallack, Jr., played Athos; John Gilbert, Porthos, and 
Lester Wallack, D'Artagnan. On Christmas Eve the 
sequel, called "The Four Musketeers, or Ten Years 
After," dramatized by the same hand, ran for three weeks, 
and on January 14 (1850), an adaptation of Eugene Sue's 
"Wandering Jew " was played for a month. 

September 25, the Hudson River Railroad obtained 
permission to operate a road from Spuyten Duyvil to 
West and Canal streets, to run a locomotive south as far 
as Thirtieth Street, and a "dummy engine" between that 
and Chambers Street ; but it was enjoined from running 
a stated passenger train below Thirty-second Street. 
This later station was maintained until 1865, when it was 
transferred to Thirtieth Street. 

September 17, the New York Harmonic Society was 
founded by merging the Sacred Music Society, the Vocal 
Society, and perhaps one or two other organizations. 

October 10 , the New York and Erie Railroad was 
opened to Elmira, N. Y. 

This year witnessed the disappearance of the Rich- 
mond Hill Theatre. This house, on Varick Street, of 
which I have heretofore given some history, being bought 
by John Jacob Astor, was converted into a theatre and 
opened in November, 1831, with "The Road to Ruin," 
the prologue written by Halleck. It continued, as here 
related, with varying fortunes and reputation at one 
time the home of opera, as the New York Opera House, 
until it was taken down in this year. 

15* 



458 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

By this time the steady advance of the dinner hour had 
progressed so far that on very formal occasions it was as 
late as the usual family hour of to-day, seven o'clock. 

Francis L. Waddell, a brother of William C. H. Wad- 
dell, and known as "Frank," was a widely known char- 
acter; he married a daughter of the late Thomas H. 
Smith, who had been the leading tea importer of the 
United States, and in this year visiting Washington, we 
renewed what had been a school-boy acquaintance. 
There was a sui generis in his manner, and piquancy in 
his conversation, added to humor and wit, that rendered 
him very agreeable company; so much so that, at the 
United States Hotel at Saratoga, where he usually re- 
sorted in the summer season, he was a welcome guest of 
the proprietor, who held that he gained more by his com- 
pany than the cost of it. He not only wrote good poetry, 
but his Salus populi suprema lex, as an introduction to 
his eulogy on Dr. Home, will never be forgotten by 
those who heard it. 

In this year Mrs. A. J. Bloomer of Homer, N. Y., 
issued a paper advocating woman suffrage, and also de- 
signed a costume for women, the salient features of which 
were pantaloons of a light texture, the skirt of the dress 
extending just below the knees, and a sombrero for the 
head. The ensemble was known as the Bloomer dress; it 
was adopted for a time and to a moderate extent, chiefly 
in rural districts, and excited much comment both in this 
country and Europe. It chances that, as these lines are 
written (January, 1895), we observe the news of Mrs. 
Bloomer's recent death. She was a quiet, domestic, 
religious woman. 

December 10, Ellen and Kate Bateman, aged four and 
six years, made their first appearance in New York at the 
Broadway Theatre in tragedy and comedy. The acting 
of these children displayed almost incredible intelligence, 
and they were so different from the usual "infant 



WILLIAM F. HAVEMEYER, MAYOR 459 

wonder" class that the judicious did not grieve to see 
their impersonations of Shylock, Richard ///., Richmond, 
Portia, Lady Macbeth, etc. They were daughters of H. 
L. Bateman, then an actor. 

1850. Even so late as this date the northern boundary 
of New York could not be placed above Thirty-fourth 
Street, with many open spaces below that line. Bloom- 
ingdale, Manhattanville, Yorkville, and Harlem were still 
remote and isolated villages. But the city continued its 
rapid growth, fully meeting in this regard the most san- 
guine expectations. The prices of real estate, however, 
were very modest as compared with those of to-day; 
thus, in January of this year Mr. Henry C. DeRham 
bought from the heirs of Henry Brevoort the house and 
land, corner of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, ninety-two 
feet on the avenue and one hundred and twenty-six feet 
deep, for fifty-seven thousand dollars. 

Nicholas Saltus ("Nick"), before referred to in these 
Reminiscences, died on January 25, aged seventy years. 

January 28. From the ship-yard of Wm. H. Brown, 
foot of Twelfth Street, East River, there were three 
steamers launched in succession: first, the New World, 
of six hundred and fifty tons, designed and constructed 
for service in California, completely fitted, and upon 
being disengaged from her launching hawsers her engine 
was put in motion; second, the Boston, of eight hundred 
tons, designed to ply between Boston and Bangor; and 
lastly the Arctic, the third of the steamers of the New 
York and Liverpool Steamship Co. (Collins Line). 

An enormous crowd witnessed the launch of this, the 
largest vessel that then had been built in this country, 
the Arctic having a length on deck of two hundred and 
ninety-five feet, and being of three thousand five hun- 
dred tons burthen, with water-wheels thirty-five, feet 
in diameter; for my readers must remember that ocean 
steamers then were chiefly "side-wheelers," or paddle- 



460 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

boats. The name of this vessel is of mournful sound 
even until this day, for the Arctic suffered a notable 
disaster by collision with the Vesta in 1854, with great 
loss of life. Her consort, the Pacific, also, was lost in 
some manner ever unknown, perhaps by collision with an 
iceberg while racing the Cunarder Persia; she never was 
heard of, neither was any trace of her ever discovered. 
These disasters availed, with other causes, to end the 
once favorite Collins Line, in 1858. 

In this year the Inman Line, or the Liverpool, New 
York, and Philadephia Steamship Co., now known as the 
American Line, commenced operation. 

February 4, the 2oo-horse power boiler in A. B. 
Taylor's machine shop, at 5 and 7 Hague Street, ex- 
ploded at about eight o'clock in the morning, and the six- 
story building containing it was shaken to the ground. 
Sixty-three dead bodies were taken from the ruins during 
a week's search. 

In April the National Academy of Design opened its 
quarters in Broadway opposite Bond Street, where stables 
had been transformed into a home of art. 

Henry Grinnell, a retired merchant, entertained the 
design of an expedition to the North Sea, in search of 
Sir John Franklin, and in pursuance of his purpose pur- 
chased two vessels which he named Advance and Rescue; 
and proffered them to the Government, which early in 
May accepted them, and appointed Lieutenant DeHaven, 
U. S. N., to command the expedition. It departed from 
New York on May 22, and although it failed to find Sir 
John, it proceeded so far north as to add to previous dis- 
coveries, in a tract which was named Grinnell Land, and 
to verify the opinion that existed as to the presence of a 
Polar Sea. The expedition arrived here on its return 
September 30, 1851. 

April 10, the New York and Virginia Steamship Co. 
was chartered, and soon commenced service between this 






CALEB S, WOODHULL, MAYOR 461 

city and Norfolk, and subsequently to Richmond. It 
was succeeded by the Old Dominion Steamship Co. in 
1868. 

At this period Broadway was undergoing a rapid change 
into a street of trade. The City Hotel, after its long 
existence, at last disappeared, giving way to a row of 
shops. A. T. Stewart extended his own building to the 
corner of Reade Street. All through Broadway, nearly 
to Bleecker Street, residences were coming down to be 
replaced by structures for business purposes. 

June. Edwin Forrest, who was then in litigation with 
his wife, was incensed with N. P. Willis on account of his 
action and expressions in the case, and meeting him in 
Washington Square, he first knocked him down and then 
lashed him very severely with a flexible cane. Willis was 
reported as having called for help, and as the crowd 
attracted to the scene was disposed to respond to the 
appeal, Forrest shouted, "Stand back, all of you; this is 
a family matter! " 

In July the Collins steamer Atlantic performed the 
quickest passage then recorded between Liverpool and 
New York, in ten days and fifteen hours. The highly 
successful result of this second voyage the first leaving 
here April 27 on the part of one of our countrymen to 
compete with the Cunard Line, was hailed with enthusi- 
asm, and Mr. E. K. Collins, the projector and agent of 
the line, was presented by the merchants of the city with 
a gold dinner-set. Not only were the vessels of the 
Cunard Line beaten in speed, but the American line was 
superior in convenience and elegance of equipment. 
Soon after the fleet was increased by the addition of the 
Arctic and Baltic ^ and later the Adriatic. 

July 24, took place the funeral observances, under 
care of the city authorities, in honor of the President, 
General Zachary Taylor, who had died a fortnight 
earlier. A military and civic procession five miles long 



462 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

was witnessed by a crowd of spectators estimated to 
number a quarter of a million. The whole proceeding 
was marked by most orderly, becoming, and even solemn 
behavior. 

September 3, the New York and Erie Railroad was 
opened to the end of the Susquehanna Division at Horn- 
ellsville, N. Y. 

September 24. The steamer Pacific of the New York 
and Liverpool Steamship Co. (Collins Line) arrived from 
Liverpool in the short time of ten days and four hours, 
from Rock Light to her berth at Canal Street, beating 
the Cunard steamer. The Pacific was a sister ship to 
the Atlantic. The Arctic and Baltic, which followed, had 
greater power and were materially faster; beating the 
Cunarders from two to four days. 

During this summer the opera company from the 
Tacon Theatre of Havana had been giving performances 
at Castle Garden at fifty cents' admission, beginning 
early in July. This was by far the finest company that 
had visited New York, and created a profound sensation 
here. Old citizens will thank me for recalling the de- 
light suggested by mention of the mere names of the 
prime donne, Steffanone and Tedesco; the tenors Salvi 
and Bettini; and the bassos Coletti and Marini. Ma- 
retzek engaged most of these artists, and combining with 
them the best of his former company (Mme. Bertucca, 
Signora Truffi, Beneventano, etc.), gave a subsequent sea- 
son at Castle Garden at the same prices of admission, 
but this speculation resulted in pecuniary failure, in spite 
of the delight afforded by the performances. Notwith- 
standing the charm of a company so excellent, set in a 
place of such attraction in summer weather, surrounded 
by moon-lighted water and cooled by sea breezes, al- 
together the most delicious place of amusement New 
York ever knew, the audiences attracted by this pleasur- 
able combination were oftentimes very scanty. 



CALEB S. WOODHULL, MAYOR 463 

Meantime a new musical excitement was close at hand. 

In September, Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish singer, 
arrived in New York, after a long preliminary course of 
heralding by her manager, Barnum, much of it absurd, 
though all of it was effective with the public. When her 
steamer (the Atlantic) appeared, the wharf was crowded 
with people eager with welcome. Barnum offered two 
hundred dollars for the best song to be sung by Mile. 
Lind, for which no less than seven hundred competitors 
appeared, the prize being adjudged to Bayard Taylor by 
a highly respectable committee, headed by George Ripley. 
Her concerts were intended to be given in Tripler Hall in 
Broadway (on the site afterward occupied by the Winter 
Garden), but since the structure was not completed in 
time for this use, Castle Garden was chosen, and here, 
after an excited competition for tickets, the choice of 
seats being sold by auction at prices previously unheard 
of; the highest being bid by a hatter, who was thought to 
be the maddest of his tribe, but, from the advertising 
point of view, was not half so mad as he seemed, the 
" Swedish Nightingale " made her first appearance in 
America on the evening of the nth. The scene on this 
occasion, and the whole Jenny Lind excitement, will 
be remembered so long as any are living who witnessed 
them. Mile. Lind's original contract with Barnum, of 
one thousand dollars for each performance, was widely 
advertised as proof of her transcendent merit, and so was 
the alteration of it to one-half of the net profits, her share 
of which for the first performance was twelve thousand 
six hundred dollars. This sum Mile. Lind devoted to 
public charities in New York, beginning with three thou- 
sand dollars for the Fire Department Fund. Such con- 
duct of course heightened the public furor, and all 
through the land, in the newspapers and in households, 
many tales of her "angelic" nature were currerft. In 
New York crowds followed her wherever she went, so 



464 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




WASHINGTON PLACE 



that, in order to secure some degree of privacy, she was 
obliged to abandon her hotel (the Irving House) and find 
a refuge in more private quarters. In this campaign of 
puffing Barnum fairly exceeded his own fame as master 
of the ways by which public reputations may be manu- 
factured. In Mile. Lind's case, however, there was no 
need of showman's tricks, save from the Barnum or 
box-office point of view. Though her voice was of no 
remarkable power or beauty, she was artist to the finger- 
tips, and her vocalization approached the utmost degree 
of perfection in refinement and finish. 

So great was the desire to see her that parties who 






CALEB S. WOODHULL, MAYOR 465 

failed to obtain tickets for the Garden hired row-boats 
and rested in the river outside of the Garden, during the 
performance. 

+ Triplet Hall, having been completed, was opened in 
October with a concert in which Jenny Lind appeared. 
Mile. Lind sang in " The Messiah " on November 9, 
when the Harmonic Society repeated its performance of 
that work. Tripler Hall was also the scene of Mine. 
Anna Bishop's appearance in concert in October. 

Maretzek opened the Astor Place Opera House for a 
new season in October, and on November 4 the great 
soprano, Teresa Parodi, made her first appearance in the 
character of Norma. 

Orphan Asylum, incorporated 1807; West Seventy- 
third Street and Riverside Drive. A Protestant asylum 
for destitute orphans from eighteen months to ten years 
of age, and for half-orphans, when surviving parents are 
either mentally or physically unable to support them. 

The editor of a daily paper was cowhided in Broadway 
by Mr. Graham, an unsuccessful candidate for district 
attorney in the election then just concluded. 

Brougham's Lyceum, in Broadway near Broome Street, 
which afterward became Wallack's, and still later the 
Broadway Theatre, was built during this year, and 
opened on December 23 with an " occasional rigmarole," 
introducing all the members of the company, and a farce 
in which John L. Owens, afterward so well known, made 
his first bow in New York. 

The Five Points Mission was, now begun, under direc- 
tion of the Rev. Lewis Morris Pease. 

Andrew J. Downing, in letters to the Horticulturist, in 
the autumn of this year, pointed out the lack of open 
public spaces and places for common recreation in New 
York, and urged the necessity of providing for a great 
Park. This was the actual beginning of the Central 
Park, the birth of the idea, and Downing should be for- 



4 66 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

ever remembered with gratitude by our people, and his 
statue should be raised by them in the place which they 
owe primarily to his foresight and trained intelligence. 

In addition to the ''gingerbread man," already referrqjj 
to and the "lime-kiln man," who was known to sleep 
on or about lime-kilns on the East side near Fourteenth 
Street, and whose body was eventually found there, the 
"blue man," at about this date, was to be seen daily in 
the vicinity of the Herald building on Broadway; he 
had evidently been so liberally dosed with nitrate of 
silver, to correct epilepsy, that his face was strictly of a 
blue color. 

John Hughes, who in 1825 was ordained a priest in the 
Roman Catholic Church, and consecrated bishop in 1838, 
was made archbishop in this year. 

St. Luke's Hospital, incorporated, affords medical and 
surgical aid and nursing to sick or disabled, suffering 
from acute, curable, and non-contagious disease, without 
distinction of race or creed. 

The various labor organizations existing at this time 
were mainly engaged in essaying to attain a reduction in 
the hours of work by National and State legislation; 
they entered very generally into local politics, and many 
candidates were put in nomination by them for offices and 
representatives. In 1840 the hours of labor in all the 
Navy Yards had been fixed at ten hours daily by Presi- 
dent Van Buren. In 1831 the first Printers' Union was 
formed. In 1829 the Workingmen's Party, which had 
been organized in the preceding year, first entered the 
political field and nominated candidates for office and 
representation: at the general election they succeeded 
in electing one member of the legislature. As early as 
1825 the subject of greater wages, less hours of work, and 
legal protection was put forth by labor organizations 
and political aspirants who sought to avail themselves of 
the popular excitement. 

1851. About the year 1831 "animal magnetism" or 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 467 

" mesmerism " was brought into public notice in con- 
sequence of a report on the subject made to the Royal 
Academy of Medicine in Paris, evolving much literature, 
public and private discussion, and exhibitions or seances, 
as they were termed. In 1837 a further report was made 
to the French Academy, which it adopted, and which 
was of a nature to discourage adherents to the doctrine, 
as the Academy offered a prize in money to any "clair- 
voyant " who should perform certain feats asserted to 
be of common occurrence; but although several contest- 
ants for the prize made efforts during these years, they 
met only complete failures. Nevertheless, in this year 
the subject was again revived with some variations in 
England, under the designation of " hypnotism," under 
which it has remained in discussion to this time, with 
results sufficiently familiar to my readers. I may add, 
however, that the modern speculation about hypnotism 
has not in any equal degree excited the popular interest 
in this country in the debates elicited by animal mag- 
netism, which a few years previously was a theme of 
common talk among the people. The doctrine of clair- 
voyance, and the like, became advanced by spiritualists 
and queer and eccentric people generally, which prob- 
ably tended to the decline of the movement among the 
masses of our population. 

The publisher of the City Directory for this year gave, 
in addition to the names and residences of individuals, 
etc., an additional book, in which the avenues and streets 
were alphabetically given with the numbers, and opposite 
to these the names of the residents or occupants of the 
building. 

Canal Street was extended to Mulberry, and Walker 
Street widened twenty-five feet on the north side from 
Mulberry to Division Street, and extended to East Broad- 
way. Dey Street, between Broadway and Greenwich 
Street, was widened. 



468 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

May 5, Mayor Kingsland submitted to the Common 
Council a message in which he set forth the propriety 
and necessity of early action in the matter of a new Park, 
according to the suggestion made by A. J. Downing in 
the preceding year. The Common Council, approving 
the design, voted to solicit the legislature for authority 
to acquire the land. It may be more convenient if I fix 
here a summary of the further proceedings instead of 
distributing the incidents under the various years of 
their occurrence: In 1853, a committee of the Common 
Council recommended that the park should be located on 
the property known as "Jones's Wood," on the East 
side, opposite Blackwell's Island; and in order to give 
an opportunity to examine the location a steamboat was 
chartered and members of the legislature and the Cham- 
ber of Commerce, and others were invited to proceed to 
the locality; President Pierce being a guest of the party. 
As a result of the observation, the opinion was generally 
entertained that the location not only was not sufficiently 
central, but that one side of it being bounded by a deep 
stream and rapid current, the facility with which persons 
or bodies could be projected into it, might lead to com- 
mission of crime. Therefore, in the same year, author- 
ity having been granted by the legislature, commissioners 
of estimate and assessment for the land now occupied by 
the Central Park were appointed by the Supreme Court 
in the autumn. And on February 5, 1856, the court con- 
firmed the report of these commissioners, which awarded 
for damages, $5,169,369.69, and for benefits $1,657, 590.00, 
and the Common Council immediately appropriated the 
sum of more than five millions for the expenditure 
necessary at that time, and on May 19 appointed a com- 
mission to take in charge the work of construction. 
The commission was aided by a consulting committee, 
which included Washington Irving, Wm. C. Bryant, and 
George Bancroft. This committee first met on May 29, 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 



469 



1856. Action by the commission being held to be dila- 
tory, the legislature, in 1857. appointed a new board, 
which invited designs, and in this year, on April i, from 
thirty-three plans submitted, that of Fredk. L. Oimsted 
and Calvert Vaux was approved, and the work was begun. 
By the original design the northern boundary of the park 
was fixed at One Hundred and Sixth Street, but in 1859 
it was transferred to One Hundred and Tenth Street. 

May 14, 1851, the New York and Erie Railroad, having 
been completed to its western terminus at Dunkirk, 
N. Y., was formally opened with great ceremony, two 




RILEY'S FIFTH WARD HOTEL, CORNER FRANKLIN AND CHAPEL STREETS 



470 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

trains conveying President Fillmore, Daniel Webster, and 
a large company of distinguished men, making an excur- 
sion over the entire line, from Piermont, N. Y., to Dun- 
kirk. This was the first trunk line from New York. 

June 17, Barnum's " Lecture Room " was opened for 
presentation of "moral domestic drama." It was really 
a theatre (though a poor one), called Lecture Room to 
attract the public that avoided theatres. Performances 
were here given continually, and while the stage was 
a good place for beginners, children and visitors from 
the rural districts were delighted in front. 

The labors of Dr. John Dennis Russ in behalf of the 
reformation of juveniles resulted this year in the incor- 
poration of the New York Juvenile Asylum, located at 
One Hundred and Seventy-sixth Street and Amsterdam 
Avenue. It is held that the labors of Dr. Russ and the 
incorporation of the asylum were the result of the Astor 
Place Riot. 

Williams & Guion in this year incorporated the Black 
Star Line of sailing packets to Liverpool. 

The demand of the China and India trade for vessels 
of greater speed than the type of the time (1843-44) ad- 
mitted of, led to the construction in 1844 of vessels of 
different proportions, having greater length to beam, 
greater rise of floors, and finer ends; and they, in conse- 
quence of their greater speed, were termed and known as 
" clippers." The first of this class was the Rainbow, of 
750 tons, and the Sea Witch, of 907 tons, both built by 
Smith & Dimon for Howland & Aspinwall; then the 
Helena of 650 tons, by Wm. H. Webb for N. L. & G. 
Griswold; then \hz Samuel Russell of 940 tons, by Brown 
& Bell, for A. A. Low & Brother. In succeeding years 
there followed the Snow Squall, White Squall, Black 
Squall, Invincible, Sword Fish, Flying Cloud, Trade Wind, 
Lightning, Comet, Red Jacket, and others. 

When this class of vessels was first brought to the 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 471 

attention of English shippers and builders, the custom- 
ary dissent and ridicule of " Yankee notions" were both 
entertained and proclaimed; but when the Surprise, of 
A. A. Low & Brother, reached San Francisco from this 
port in ninety days, with a cargo of 1800 tons, and dis- 
charging, loading, and leaving for London via Canton, 
arrived there with the first cargo of tea and freight at 
six pounds sterling per ton (while English vessels were 
obtaining but from three to four pounds), netting her 
owners fifty thousand dollars in excess of her cost and 
running expenses, our English brothers, with their 
practical good sense, especially whenever the oppor- 
tunity is presented to them to reap an advantage, 
were not slow to avail themselves of the example thus 
presented, and however distasteful it was to them to be 
goaded on by "Yankees," yet they discarded sentiment 
and built " clipper" ships. 

In 1846 Captain Wm. Skiddy had built in Boston by 
Donald McKay the ship New World, of 1400 tons, then 
the largest merchantman in the world. He soon after 
sold a large share of her to Grinnell, Minturn & Co. 
In 1851, the California trade requiring larger clippers, 
Wm. H. Webb built for N. L. & G. Griswold the Chal- 
lenge, of 2006 tons, and the Invincible, of 2150. 

Of the great speed attained by these vessels I cite the 
following in addition to that of the Surprise: New York 
to San Francisco, the Sea Witch, in ninety-seven days; 
and the Flying Cloud, 1784 tons, in eighty-four, and on one 
day 433 ^ miles (knots). The Samuel Russell on a voyage 
to Canton made 328 miles (knots) in one day, and the 
Sovereign of the Seas, of 2421 tons, from San Francisco, 
for twenty-two days averaged 283.9 miles (knots) per 
day, and ran from New York to Liverpool in thirteen 
days and nineteen hours. The Dreadnought, belonging 
to E. D. Morgan, Captain Samuels, and others, beat the 
Canada steamer from Liverpool, though the Cunarder 



472 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

had a day's start; the clipper reaching Sandy Hook be- 
fore the steamer arrived at Boston. The Comet sailed 
from here to Sari Francisco and back in seven months 
and nine days, the return passage occupying only 
seventy-six days (the shortest on record). 

Such were some of the triumphs of the golden days of 
American ship-building, when the flag was seen in every 
port of the world, flying over the most finished speci- 
mens of marine structure ever known. In those days 
(1840-60) the ship-yards extended along the East River 
from Pike to Thirteenth Street, employing thousands of 
skilled workmen whose intelligence and character were 
of the sturdiest foundations of our civil government. 
This mighty industry has been destroyed by ignorant 
legislation. By 1849, however, the success of the 
Cunard Line of steamers began to affect not only the 
further building of our foreign packets, but to cause 
them gradually to lapse from freight and passenger 
traffic to freight alone. 

The yacht America, schooner of 170 tons (Custom 
House measurement), the winner of the Queen's Cup, 
which was contended for under the direction of the 
Royal Yacht Squadron of England off the Isle of 
Wight, was designed by George Steers of Henry & 
George Steers, ship-builders of this city, and built by 
his firm for John C. and Edwin A. Stevens, George 
L. Schuyier, J. Beekman Finlay, and Hamilton Wilkes. 
Leaving here in July, she arrived at Havre, where she 
was fitted with her racing spars and sails, and in her 
passage to the Isle of Wight she encountered the 
schooner Livonia, evidently detailed to test her speed, 
of which the owner soon became so well cognizant that, 
upon Commodore Stevens posting an offer in the Club 
House of a bet upon the result of the approaching contest 
of from one guinea to five thousand, it was not taken. 
It is worthy of notice that the Livonia had been waiting 






AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 473 

the coming of the America for several days, and imme- 
diately upon her appearance joined company, the purpose 
of which was so patent that for a moment the question 
was with Commodore Stevens, and his companions, 
" Shall we compete with her, or conceal our capacity?" 
The consideration was of brief duration; it being chival- 
rously decided that notwithstanding the action of the 
Livonia's owner was indelicate, and but a transfer of 
the " touting" of a race-course to the water, the yacht 
should continue her course without any notice of the 
competition. 

Soon after a pilot for the America had been engaged 
Commodore Stevens received several anonymous letters, 
stating that the pilot would sell him, etc. ; but the com- 
modore not only did not heed them, but upon being ques- 
tioned in relation to them, he replied: "The commodore 
of the British club, in providing the man, said he would 
be responsible for his faithfulness, and consequently I 
am fully satisfied, having the word of a gentleman." 

The rules of the race did not give any allowance for 
tonnage, but Commodore Stevens declared he would not 
start in less than a six-knot breeze. There were fifteen 
starters, ranging from 47 to 392 tons, and the America 
not only won by some 25 minutes, but proved to be much 
the faster vessel on all points of sailing. So marvellous 
was the performance of the America held to be that there 
were many who believed there was some propelling 
machinery on board of her. In illustration of this opin- 
ion: Lord Yarborough visited her, and after looking all 
through between decks, boldly asked the sailing-master 
Brown, who was in charge, to lift the hatch in the cock- 
pit, in order that he might be fully advised upon the 
question of the alleged existence of a propelling machine 
in her stern. 

The cup was open to the yachts of the clubs of all 
nations. 



474 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

In the latter part of the race the wind fell, and 
although the America had been many miles ahead of all 
her competitors, a very small yacht by running close to 
the shore, thus avoiding the strength of the adverse tide, 
was enabled to gain upon the America so as to reduce her 
lead to twenty-five minutes. 

July. The Common Council passed an ordinance to 
extend the area of the Battery, which was vetoed by the 
Mayor. 

July 15, Edwin Forrest sued N. P. Willis for twenty 
thousand dollars alleged damages to his character, and 
he also commenced proceedings to obtain a divorce from 
his wife Catharine N. Fisher, ne'e Sinclair. 

Mme. D'Amsmont, " Fanny " (Frances) Wright, applied 
for a divorce from the man she had married while engaged 
in lecturing and writing against marriage. 

James Fenimore Cooper died on September 14, and on 
the i5th a memorial meeting was held at the City Hall 
under the presidency of Washington Irving; and on Feb- 
ruary 24, 1852, a more formal meeting was convened at 
Metropolitan Hall (once Tripler Hall, afterward the 
Winter Garden, in Broadway, near Bond Street). On 
this occasion Daniel Webster presided, supported by 
Irving, and Bryant delivered the address. Reproduc- 
tions from a sketch by the venerable artist, Mr. D. 
Huntington, of these three men as they appeared on the 
occasion, are still treasured in New York families. 

Booth's last appearance in New York was on Sep- 
tember 19. His last appearance on any stage was on 
November 19 of the next year (1852) at the St. Charles 
Theatre, in New Orleans. Four days after that he died 
on board a steamboat for Cincinnati. 

On October 3, the Hudson River Railroad, chartered 
May 12, 1846, was opened to Albany. 

December 5, Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot, 
arrived in New York on the United States war steamer 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 



475 



Mississippi, which had been sent by our Government to 
convey him hither as the nation's guest. Here he was 
received with unbounded enthusiasm; crowds followed 
him in the streets, hung upon his words, and noted his 
actions and his very attire. Imitation, that " sincerest 




VANDENHEUVEL MANSION, LATER BURNHAM'S HOTEL, BROADWAY AND 
SEVENTY-EIGHTH TO SEVENTY-NINTH STREET 



form of flattery," introduced into common use the "Kos- 
suth hat" in the place of the more formal headgear pre- 
viously worn. At Washington Kossuth had distinguished 
honors paid to him. He visited most of the chief cities 
and addressed great meetings with moving eloquence. 
His efforts, however, to raise funds for renewing the 
struggle of Hungary with Austria were not very sue- 



476 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

cessful, especially since the news of Louis Napo'leon's 
coup d'fiat, shortly after Kossuth's arrival, seemed to 
presage a considerable change in European politics. 
Kossuth returned to Europe in July of the next year. 

September 18, Henry J. Raymond, who in 1841 was 
engaged as a reporter on the Tribune at ten dollars a week, 
organized and founded the New York Times, which first 
was published at 113 Nassau Street, and afterward at the 
corner of Nassau and Beekman streets, until removed 
in 1857 to its present site. 

The Nicaragua route to San Francisco was opened in 
this year. 

Astor Place Opera House, at the end of the first "five 
seasons' subscription," was given over to business and the 
occupancy of the Mercantile Library; being remodelled 
for the purpose, and taking the old name of Clinton Hall 
after the library's earlier home. Now even the building 
has disappeared; its graceful proportions giving way to a 
new structure, larger and more convenient, no doubt, 
but in point of architecture showing a mournful decline 
of taste as compared with its predecessor. 

December 3, Niblo's Garden was remarkable for the 
appearance of Adelina Patti, whose voice and execu- 
tion, though she was but a child of eight years, excited 
very great admiration and astonishment. Mme. Patti 
herself has lately said of this concert: 

I sang on the stage from my seventh to my eleventh year, and carried 
on my doll when I made my first appearance in public at the former age, 
singing " Ah ! non giunge" the finale of the third act of " La Son- 
nambula" in a concert at Niblo's Garden, December 3, 1851. I 
remember that occasion as well as though it were yesterday, and can 
( even recall the dress I wore a white silk with little trimming. 

December 29 first appeared Lola Montez, a danseuse 
of considerable and various fame, who appealed rather to 
nature than to the artistic sense. She attracted crowded 






AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 477 

houses for a short time, although scarcely fulfilling public 
expectation. She had many travels and adventures in 
this country, in which, I think, she passed the remainder 
of her career; at any rate she died here about ten years 
later than this date, closing a turbulent life in poverty 
and humility. 

In this year ironical fate destroyed by fire the fire-alarm 
bell on the tower at Sixth Avenue and Tenth Street. 

Sixth Avenue Railroad opened and its operation com- 
menced. 

About this period there daily appeared on Nassau 
Street a large and lugubrious man with a stentorian voice, 
who announced " twenty-five self-sealing envelopes, all 
for four cents" the four cents being especially dwelt 
upon. He was a positive nuisance, not only to the 
neighbors, but to passers-by; but it was found to be 
impracticable to suppress him, and he continued his 
vocation for some three years, when he was providentially 
removed. So notorious was he that when one wished to 
express his disapproval of a measure he deemed of insuffi- 
cient character, he termed it a " four-cent affair." 

The " razor-strop man" on the corner of Pine and 
Nassau streets was a like nuisance for many years, till 
he was in a like manner removed. 

In 1808 the city was divided into ten wards; in 1825 
the number was increased to twelve; in 1827 to fourteen; 
in 1832, by dividing the Ninth Ward, to fifteen; in 1836 
the Sixteenth Ward was made of a part of the Twelfth; 
in 1837 the Seventeenth was made out of a part of the 
Eleventh; in 1846 the Sixteenth was divided by the 
making of the Eighteenth; in 1850 the Nineteenth was 
made out of a part of the Twelfth, and in this year the 
Twentieth was made out of a part of the Sixteenth. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

1852, 1853, 1854. AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, 1852; JACOB A. 
WESTERVELT, 1853 AND 1854, MAYORS 

1852. THE New York and Harlem Railroad was opened 
to Chatham Four Corners. In this year Liberty Street 
was widened from Greenwich to Broadway, and Washing- 
ton Street was extended from Twelfth to Gansevoort. 

The city purchased from A. R. Lawrence sixty acres 
more or less on Ward's Island, paying about fifteen hun- 
dred dollars per acre, and sixteen more acres of other 
parties, at about the same price. The rest of the Island 
is owned by the State. 

When the grading of Fifth Avenue from Thirty-fourth 
Street to Forty-fifth was under consideration, and the 
Committee on Streets of the Board of Aldermen was in 
session, two individuals presented themselves whose 
interests were directly at variance. One of them, who 
during the war of 1813 had supplied the army with 
groceries, when an elevation of the proposed change of 
grade was shown him, and its advantage vaunted, 
declared that "he could not see it"; whereupon the 
other person replied that he was not at all surprised, as 
a man who during the late war could not tell the differ- 
ence between corn-meal and ground ginger could not be 
expected to see much. 

January 5, Mt. Sinai Hospital incorporated, Twenty- 
eighth Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues; a 
general hospital for the medical and surgical care of all 
creeds and classes, except sufferers from infectious 
diseases. Free to worthy indigent sick. 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 479 

January 21, the " Tea Room" of the Common Council 
was restored. 

January 26, the suit of Edwin Forrest for a divorce 
from his wife, in which many leading legal practitioners 
on both sides were engaged, and which occupied Court 
and jury for thirty-two days, was decided in favor of the 
wife. A numerous band of partisans supported Forrest 
in this controversy, but public sympathy was generally 
with the wife, and Forrest's reputation was not heightened 
by the proceeding. 

At the Broadway Theatre Forrest, at the end of his 
divorce case, began an engagement as Damon which really 
was remarkable, as he continued it for sixty-nine con- 
secutive nights. 

February 2, at Brougham's Lyceum, appeared for 
the first time on any stage, Mrs. Sinclair, daughter of 
the vocalist, and divorced wife of Forrest. She made her 
debut as Lady Teazle, which was accounted a triumphant 
success by her friends, and ran for eight nights. Later 
she was not so successful with the public. The opinion 
of the more judicious part of society was that this play- 
ing against each other of the two parties to the recent 
divorce proceedings, and thus merchandising the sym- 
pathies of their friends, was not a delicate proceeding. 

Early in May, Charlotte Cushman was seen here as 
Rosalind. She announced for the i4th a farewell benefit 
previous to retiring from the stage, on which occasion 
she produced "The Banker's Wife." She retired, but to 
no great distance, as she appeared the next evening in 
the character of Meg Merrilies. 

In July the public funeral observance in memory of 
Henry Clay was the occasion of a great military parade. 

July 28. In the afternoon a fire was discovered on 
board the steamboat Henry Clay on her passage from 
Albany to this city, and after vain attempts to quench it, 
she was headed for the shore, injudiciously "head on," 



480 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

and as a result all passengers abaft of the fire, which was 
amidships, were compelled to leap into the water, and 
such as could not swim, or were not effectually supported, 
were drowned. The entire loss of life was held to range 
from sixty to one hundred, of which number the renowned 
and esteemed Stephen Allen was one. He was Mayor of 
the city in 1821 to 1823. 

In August of this year three river thieves rowed along- 
side of a ship in the East River, two of them boarded her, 
and in progress of stealing aroused the night watchman, 
whom they killed with a bullet from a pistol. George W. 
Walling, afterward Chief of Police, was forthwith de- 
tailed to discover the murderer, and upon the arrest of 
the three men, the one who was left in the boat turned 
State's evidence; the other two, Hewlett and Saul, were 
tried, condemned, and hanged. For some years after 
this the depredations of river thieves were so many 
and so bold that the organization of a Harbor Police 
became a necessity; its custody of our wharves and of 
vessels becoming so effective that river thieving was 
very effectively diminished on the New York side of the 
river. 

August 30, the Astor Place Opera House suffered its 
change into the New York Theatre, under Charles R. 
Thorne, who retained it, however, for less than a month. 
Chanfrau.then took the house, but abandoned it in even 
less time. 

In the strait between this city and Long Island, erro- 
neously termed a river (East), as it is wholly deficient in 
the characteristics of one, and at the deflection of the 
current between Astoria and Ward's Island, there was, 
when the tides were running, an eddy of sufficient depth 
and area to be termed a whirlpool, and it was known as 
Hell Gate. At half tides it was unsafe for small boats 
to approach it. The increased number of vessels that 
passed through the strait rendered some remedial action 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 481 

necessary, and in order to ascertain how far the con- 
formation of the bottom was conducive to the eddy, it 
was sounded and the presence of a projecting rock with 
an overhanging head was discovered; whereupon the city 
appropriated a sum of money for its destruction, and 
under a contract with a Mr. Maillefert, the operation, 
commenced late in the preceding year, and finished in 
this, proved to be very successful. 

There was a scandal, however, connected with this 
contract; it being asserted that the depth required was 
not obtained, as the instrument or staff by which the 
depth was to be arrived at was bored out in the centre 
for a length of some feet, to admit of what a sailor would 
term a sliding gunter construction; that is, the iron rod 
at the base, instead of being permanently fixed to the 
body of the shaft, would, when meeting resistance, slide 
up in the bore; and hence the depth of the water, which 
was read off at the water-line on the staff, would be re- 
duced as much as the rod receded. 

September i, the Metropolitan Hotel, at Broadway and 
Prince Street, was opened, having been completed at the 
cost of one million of dollars. It was then said to stand 
at the head of the hotels of the world in all points of 
elegance, comfort, and convenience. Its opening was cele- 
brated by a banquet, attended by five hundred persons, 
most of them of position in society, representing every 
State in the Union. The house was kept by the Leland 
Brothers, famous in their business, who had been pro- 
prietors of the Clinton Hotel at Beekman and Nassau 
streets. They controlled it for about twenty years. Its 
later history is not within the scope of these "Remi- 
niscences." 

September 8 was memorable for the opening of 

Wallack's Lyceum; the house, formerly Brougham's, 

having been acquired by James W. Wallack, his sons 

Lester and Charles being stage-manager and treasurer. 

16 



482 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

The taste and elegance displayed in all its productions 
gave it a caste of the highest respectability, such as never 
had been enjoyed by any place of entertainment in New 
York, save only the old Park Theatre. It was occupied 
by them until removal in 1861 to corner of Broadway and 
Thirteenth Street, now the Star Theatre. The admis- 
sions to the theatre at this time were fifty and twenty- 
five cents. 

It was not until about this year that the cobblestone 
pavement in our streets was in progress of removal, 
substituting the successful Belgian pavement of 1832 in 
the Bowery, and repaving Broadway with the stone blocks 
designed by a Mr. Russ, and some of the principal streets 
of traffic with the Belgian pavement of the time. 

The Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, which was organ- 
ized in 1825, was in this year incorporated; for girls on 
Madison Avenue, for boys on Fifth Avenue, both between 
Fifty-first and Fifty-second streets. Orphans and half 
orphans, from three to ten years, are admitted. 

In this year the Anchor Steamship Line was established, 
and commenced service between this city and Glasgow. 

September 27, Henrietta Sontag (Countess Rossi) first 
appeared in New York, in concert at Metropolitan 
(Tripler) Hall. Here she repeated the successes that 
had attended her in every capital of the civilized world, 
being an artist of the very first rank and a charming 
woman in person and character. 

The total assessed value of real and personal estates 
was $35 I >7 6 ,795> and the tax levy was put at $3,378,332. 

October i, in consequence of a robbery of two hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars from Messrs. Brown Brothers & 
Co., their bookkeeper and a note-broker were subjected 
to surveillance by police officers. 

In November occurred the public ceremonies of 
mourning for the death of Daniel Webster, attended, as 
those for Clay had been, by a military procession and 



AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 483 

every sign of grief. Thus had the country been called 
within a few weeks' time to deplore the loss of Clay and 
Webster; an almost unparalleled conjuncture and one not 
likely soon to be repeated, considering the present sup- 
ply of great men. These two were a great conservative 
force, removed from the scene of action just when politi- 
cal troubles involving the Civil War were nearing the 
height. Both died too soon for their highest fame, as 
has recently (1894) been remarked of Webster by Senator 
Hoar in a passage of great beauty and truth. 

The same month witnessed the arrival of the famous 
novelist W. M. Thackeray, under engagement with the 
Mercantile Library Association to deliver his lectures on 
the ''English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century." 
There was some doubt touching the nature of his recep- 
tion, since our public was still sore over the outcome 
of the Dickens visit, but eventually Thackeray enjoyed 
respectful and attentive hearing, and generous social 
welcome. He began his lectures on November 19, in Dr. 
Chapin's church, before a crowded audience. The lec- 
tures gave rise to a great revival of eighteenth-century 
literature among us, and the booksellers drove an active 
trade in it. Thackeray remained here until the next 
April, evidently enjoying his visit, and forming many 
close and affectionate friendships. 

It was in this year that the Rev. Dr. Jonathan M. 
Wainwright was chosen Provisional Bishop of New York, 
after an interregnum of eight years resulting from Bishop 
Onderdonk's suspension. Dr. Wainwright set himself so 
sharply to clear up the large arrears of Episcopal duty 
that his health broke down from overwork and he died 
in September, 1854. When made bishop, Dr. Wain- 
wright was an Assistant Minister of Trinity Parish, in 
charge of St. John's Chapel, and it is notable that up to 
this time every Bishop of New York had been taken 
from the Trinity clergy. 



484 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Spofford & Tileston now organized a line of- packet 
ships to Liverpool. 

The Sixth Avenue Railroad was opened in this or the 
previous year. It was not until this period that the bank- 
ing up of the snow, on the sides of the streets through 
which street railways were operated, impeded and re- 
stricted the running of trucks and sleds; and as the rail- 
ways increased in number and extent, the use of sleds 
was proportionately decreased, and in a few years they 
were wholly laid aside. Previously that is, before the 
banking up of snow on the sides of the principal streets 
the uniform surface of the snow admitted of sledding 
and sleighing, as earlier recited. When street stages had 
been introduced, they were laid aside when the use of 
sleighs was practicable, and large open sleighs drawn by 
four and sometimes six horses were resorted to, and many 
individuals and parties enjoyed these for the ride alone; 
and of a pleasant evening Broadway would be enlivened 
with hilarious singing, instrumental music, horn-blowing, 
etc. The removal of snow in Broadway was not resorted 
to until some ten years after the date of this chapter, or 
about 1862. 

The completion of the New York and Erie Railroad in 
the preceding year and the manipulations of Daniel Drew, 
who became one of its directors, were followed by specu- 
lations upon the rise and fall of its stock to so great an 
extent that many of the operators suffered, among whom 
was Wm. M. Tweed, who in the previous year had retired 
from his business as a manufacturer of chairs in Pearl 
Street, and rented an office in Wall Street. He was 
among the sufferers to an extent that involved his capital; 
his subsequent association with Gould and Fisk was the 
result of an expressed determination of his "to get 
square with Erie." 

Drew was decidedly a character, indisputably sui 
generis. I first knew him as a keeper of the ''Bull's 






AMBROSE C. KINGSLAND, MAYOR 485 

Head " Tavern in Third Avenue, corner of Twenty-sixth 
Street; from that he migrated to Wall Street, where 
his speculations, his devout and earnest homilies at 
Methodist meetings and conferences, his donations to 
meeting-houses and a theological seminary, his connec- 
tion with menageries, the Albany line of steamboats, 
and his disregard of the rules of Lindley Murray, etc., 
made his transactions and sayings prolific with the quid 
nuncs and on dits of the time. 

He was charged with the unpardonable crime of 
sacrificing his friends, if he was to be benefited thereby. 
An illustrative case was told me by the party who suf- 
fered. A young lawyer in a case in which Drew was 
interested succeeded, after a tedious litigation, in recover- 
ing the sum at issue; and upon receiving the amount of 
his services and expenses, Drew said to him, " Sonny, 
you did it; I like to see young men go ahead; I knew 
your father. Now, as you have got some money, you had 
better go into the market and buy some stock. It Is low 
now, and if you will be advised by an old friend of your 
father's, buy Erie. It is safe, very safe. Now, sonny, do 
as I say." The full amount the lawyer had received was 
invested in a margin on Erie, which soon fell so as to 
absorb the entire amount of it; and he then learned that 
the stock he had bought was sold by Drew. In referring 
to the transaction, my friend's words are not restricted 
either by "Webster" or the Decalogue. 

1853. In this year Beekman Street was widened from 
Nassau to Pearl. The Third Avenue Railroad began 
operation. The Astor Library was completed; the cost 
of the site was twenty-five thousand dollars. In January 
of the next year the building was opened to public inspec- 
tion, and shortly afterward to students. 

Henry Grinnell, who in 1851 had equipped an expedi- 
tion to proceed to the Northern Ocean, in search of Sir 
John Franklin, was associated this year with George 



486 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 




"OLD BREWERY," CROSS (PARK), BETWEEN CENTRE AND BAXTER STREETS 

Peabody in the equipment of a second expedition in the 
Advance, under the command of Dr. Elisha Kent Kane of 
the Navy; but this, like all others, failed of its assigned 
purpose. 

Two notable philanthropic works are to be noted in 
this year. The Children's Aid Society was founded, 
chiefly through the efforts of the late Charles L. Brace, 
its secretary and chief executive, and thus began its 
labor of incalculable value. The Five Points Mission, 
having bought and demolished the " Old Brewery," 
laid the corner-stone of its new building on the site of 
the brewery, on January 27. 

The New York Society Library in this year sold its 
building at Broadway and Leonard Street, removing for 
a time to the Bible House, and during its occupancy 
there purchased ground on University Place, where it 
erected its present building, into which it removed in 1856. 

January first appeared Putnam's Monthly, under the 
editorship of Charles F. Briggs (" Harry Franco"), with 
Mr. Parke Godwin and the late George William Curtis 
assisting him. 



JACOB A. WESTERVELT, MAYOR 487 

January 8, Thomas Hamblin, the Bowery Theatre mana- 
ger, died, and performances at it were suspended for a 
week. 

May 2, Franconi's Hippodrome was opened where 
Corporal Thompson's Cottage had for a long time been 
sole occupant of the ground the site of the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel of this day. The Hippodrome was of brick, two 
stories high, and about 225 feet in diameter. It inclosed 
an open arena. The performances were excellent and 
the place was in great favor during its existence of two 
years or thereabout, after which it gave way to Mr. Amos 
Eno's new hotel. 

At this time, also, in the near neighborhood, the Madi- 
son Square Presbyterian Church from Broome Street, Rev. 
Wm. Adams, pastor (now the Rev. Dr. Parkhurst's), was 
begun; it was ready for occupancy in December, 1854. 

In consequence of the corruption existing in the Munic- 
ipal Departments, and especially in the Boards of Alder- 
men and Assistants, they from the facility, extent, and 
conditions with which they granted leases of city rail- 
roads, ferries, etc., despite the vetoes of the Mayor, were 
designated the "Forty Thieves"; the boards consisting 
each of twenty members. William M. Tweed was at this 
time a member of the Board of Aldermen, and Richard 
B. Conolly was appearing both upon the political and 
municipal stages, under the well-earned and exceptionally 
appropriate sobriquet of " Slippery Dick." 

The Legislature was called upon to enact a new 
charter, which being submitted to the people June 7, was 
approved by an exceptional vote, by the operation of 
which the Board of Assistant Aldermen was abolished, 
one of Councilmen of sixty members was substituted, 
and Aldermen were excluded from sitting in the Courts 
of Oyer and Terminer and the Sessions. 

The venality of some members of the Common Council 
and some members of the Departments was so extensive 



488 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

and so manifest that the tenure of the office of member 
was held to be more of a reproach than an honor. The 
fraternity and cohesiveness of common plunder, the auri 
sacra fames, was superior to all consideration of political 
and party affiliations and discipline. Republicans and 
Democrats joined hands; of this I write from observa- 
tion, for after two years of service I, in 1858, presided 
over one of the Boards. 

This was also the year of beginning the work of St. 
Luke's Hospital, under the Rev. Dr. W. A. Muhlenberg; 
in a building adjacent to the Church of the Holy Com- 
munion, at Sixth Avenue and Twentieth Street. 

July 4. The World's Fair, as it was termed, situated 
in Reservoir Square, now Bryant Park, was a natural 
result of the Crystal Palace that had been constructed at 
Sydenham near London, in 1851. It was formally opened 
by President Pierce and a distinguished company, but the 
display of materials, although very creditable of its kind, 
was too inconsiderable to engage the attention of other 
than our own citizens. It was reopened May 14, 1854, as 
a permanent exhibition, but the enterprise proved to be 
a signal failure, and soon after its close and while its- 
affairs were in the hands of a receiver, the building was 
wholly burned on October 5, 1858; by which Kiss's 
statue of the Amazon was destroyed, of more value than 
the building and all that then remained within it. 

Though the Crystal Palace of New York proved 
directly abortive, yet, strange as it may now seem, it did 
indirectly prove of benefit in stimulating the northward 
growth of New York much in the same manner as 
General Grant's funeral and burial-place aided in these 
days the development of the " West Side," by bringing 
millions of people to observe its advantages. Just in 
this fashion the Crystal Palace served the New York of 
forty years ago. Great crowds of visitors were attracted 
by it to what then was a remote, outward part of the city. 



JACOB A. WESTERVELT, MAYOR 489 

and not only observed the opportunities for building, 
etc., there presented, but more important still, became 
familiarized with the notion of the mere possibility and 
practicability of travelling so far as Forty-second Street. 
In this way the World's Fair accelerated the uptown 
movement and added to the value of all land lying 
upon and about Murray Hill. 

In July, Maretzek gave a season of Italian opera at 
Castle Garden with a company including Mmes. Sontag, 
Steffanone, and Patti-Strakosch, Salvi, etc. The per- 
formances continued until late in August. 

July 18, a day memorable in the history of the National 
Theatre, Aiken's version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was 
brought out a play which, from little Cordelia Howard's 
Eva and Mrs. G. C. Howard's Topsy, achieved a success 
which could be called strictly unprecedented, being 
given for more than two hundred successive times. All 
classes of the community thronged to witness the repre- 
sentations, and afternoon performances were demanded 
and maintained for weeks. It is somewhat remarkable 
that the cast at the National for this play included 
Mr. and Mrs. J. Lingard and G. Lingard; C. K. and 
G. L. Fox; and Mr. and Mrs G. C. Howard and Cor- 
delia Howard; Mrs. Howard, moreover, having been 
Caroline Fox. 

August 29, Louis Jullien began at Castle Garden 
his famous series of concerts, with an orchestra of about 
a hundred, some of them being players of unusual merit. 
A more refined musical civilization may dismiss Jullien 
as only a " popular" conductor, and truly he was so; but 
it was in a good sense, and he taught our public many 
things that it required to learn. He had extraordinary 
command of his band, and produced results until his day 
unknown in these parts. With a keen eye for theatrical 
effects, Jullien was, notwithstanding, of the real antist 
nature, and the outcome of his work here was a distinct 

16* 



490 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

improvement of musical taste and knowledge among our 
people. 

September 22, at a concert in Tripler Hall, Adelina 
Patti again sang in public, being then a child of about 
ten years; she displayed powers that confirmed the pre- 
vious anticipations of her great future excellence. For 
a considerable time she continued to appear as a child- 
performer, mostly in company with Paul Julien, a clever 
boy violinist. 

It was during this year that E. A. Sothern, the come- 
dian, made his first appearance in Barnum's " Lecture 
Room," under the name of Stewart. 

October n, the New York Clearing House began 
business. 

John Littlefield, at Merchants' Exchange, who in 1844 
was first known as a "corn-doctor" at 453 Broadway, 
was the first who presented himself to the public as a 
"chiropodist" (1844); prior to this the occupation was 
unknown; in this year Richard . H. Westervelt was 
associated with him. Manicures and Masseurs not only 
were unknown, but did not appear until some years after 
this date. 

At this period and later a well-known and notorious 
character figured in Wall and Broad streets as a broker; 
he was a dark mulatto, almost of the "sambo "shade, who 
essayed to pass himself off as a West Indian by shaving his 
head and wearing a full wig of jet black hair. He called 
himself Hamilton, and was universally known as " Nigger 
Hamilton." In consequence of the brazen manner in 
which he assumed the association of and the privileges 
of a white man, aided by the passive submission of a 
majority of those he met, he rode in street stages, 
ostentatiously exhibited himself at the lunch counter at 
Delmonico's in Broad Street, and addressed or referred 
to some acquaintances in a familiar manner. It was 
asserted that, before his appearance here, he had been 



JACOB A. WESTERVELT, MAYOR 



491 



engaged in a venture to pass off a large amount of counter- 
feit coin in one of the West India islands, and that, upon 
detection, he saved his life by escaping in a boat. 

On the occasion of his meeting a well-known gentle- 
man of this city, who was remarkable for the moderate 
and self-possessed manner in which he spoke, Hamilton, 
with an assumed attitude of defiance, stepped in front of 
the gentleman and said: "I hear you have said I was 
a riigger." To this the gentleman, looking Hamilton 
squarely in the face, and with his quiet manner, replied: 
"Are you not?" This settled the matter; the manner 




PARK THEATRE, CHATHAM STREET (PARK ROW) 



492 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of reply, added to its truth, was too much for Hamilton. 
He stepped aside and proceeded on his way. I was 
on the opposite side of the street when this meeting 
occurred. 

In August, 1843, he, with two others, was indicted for 
an alleged attempt to defraud the Atlantic Insurance Co., 
by shipping a quantity of type metal in boxes, designated 
as specie, with the ultimate purpose of the vessel being 
scuttled. 

December 10, occurred the destruction by fire of Har- 
per & Brothers' great printing and publishing house in 
Franklin Square. An ingenious plumber threw a match 
into a pan of camphene, used for cleaning ink-rollers. 
There were six hundred persons in the building, but 
no life was lost. The fire broke out about i p. M., 
and destroyed thirty-three steam presses and thousands 
of tons of books, but the firm's valuable collection of 
stereotype plates was saved uninjured. On the 26th of 
the same month a bakery in Front Street and several 
adjoining stores were destroyed by fire, which involved 
four ships lying near; among which was the Great 
Republic, an enormous vessel of much celebrity. One 
of the ships was loosed from her moorings in order to 
save her, but a west wind drove her across to Brook- 
lyn, where she burned. 

1854. In this year Bloomingdale Square was opened; 
Canal and Walker streets were extended; Wall from 
Broadway to Nassau, and Whitehall from Bowling Green 
to State Street were widened. 

January 8, the Metropolitan (Tripler) Hall and the 
adjacent Lafarge House were destroyed by fire. 

All through the fall of 1853 " Uncle Tom's Cabin " was 
continued at Purdy's National, and on January 9, of this 
year, had its one hundred and eightieth representation. 
Then it began to decline somewhat in attractive power, 
and other plays were occasionally given. In May 



JACOB A. WESTERVELT, MAYOR 493 

occurred Cordelia Howard's benefit, when she played 
Eva for the two hundred and thirtieth time. 

The inmates of the House of Refuge, which in 1839 
had been transferred from Madison Square to the foot 
of Twenty-third Street, were removed from the latter 
place to Randall's Island, under the custody of the State. 

The Union Club removed from 591 Broadway to its 
new home at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Twenty- 
first Street. 

February 4, Whitehall Street was ordered to be widened. 

The Morgan Line of sailing packets, hence to London, 
was organized with ships of eighteen hundred tons. 
This was the year of the clipper ship Dreadnought's 
famous passage under Captain Samuels, from Liverpool 
to this port; beating the Cunarder Canada (to Boston) 
with a day to spare. 

Cyrus W. Field, Peter Cooper, Moses Taylor, Marshall 
O. Roberts, and Chandler White associated themselves 
and organized the Atlantic Cable Company. 

The period was now reached when the manifold public 
charities of New York were increasing rapidly. The 
Five Points House of Industry, which had been (1850) an 
association for the amelioration of the condition of the 
children of that and the adjacent neighborhoods, was 
incorporated in this year by the zealous services of 
Archibald Russell. Its purpose is to induct children to 
school, to clothe and feed them, to afford out-door relief 
and a hospital. 

May 6, St. Luke's Hospital, which was projected in 
1846, incorporated in 1850, and had begun work in 1853, 
as previously noted herein, laid the corner-stone of the 
present building (1894) on Fifth Avenue. 

In April, the Mercantile Library removed to the new 
Clinton Hall, the transformed Astor Place Opera House. 

April 25, in the course of a fire at Jennings & Co.'s 
clothing shop at 231 Broadway, the main rear wall fell 



494 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

upon an extension on which firemen were at work, 
covering twenty or more, half of whom were killed. 

May 27, Duane Street was ordered to be widened. This 
was the year of the founding of the Arion Society by 
secession from the Deutsche Liederkranz. 

June. It was discovered that a corporation termed the 
Parker Vein Coal Co., which had been organized a few 
years previous for the purpose of developing the mine, 
and had constructed ten propeller steamers for the 
transportation of its coal, had flooded the market with 
an issue of stock much in excess of its capital. 

This year was so prolific in the discovery of over- 
issues of stock that it was an illustration of the familiar 
adage that " misfortunes come seldom alone," for soon 
after the preceding case, July i, the city was astounded in 
learning that Robert Schuyler, the President of the New 
York and New Haven Railroad, had issued a large amount 
of unauthorized stock, which he had sold at the par value 
of the capital stock. Before the shock of this discovery 
had quieted, it was discovered that Alexander Kyle, the 
secretary of the Harlem Railroad Co., had forged and 
sold stock to a large amount. 

September 4, Hackett opened Castle Garden for a 
season of Italian Opera; having under engagement the 
famous artists Grisi and Mario. His original prices 
of five dollars and three dollars were soon reduced to 
three dollars for all parts of the house. On these terms 
large audiences attended. The weather becoming soon 
too cold for comfort in this place, the opera was moved 
October 2 to the new Academy of Music, which had 
been built by a company of gentlemen as a permanent 
home for this style of amusement. This, it will be 
understood, was the house destroyed by fire in May, 
1866; the present Academy, renewed on the same site, 
was opened early in 1868. 

In September was opened the theatre best known as 



JACOB A. WESTERVELT, MAYOR 495 

the Winter Garden, but first called by the cumbrous title 
of the New York Theatre and Metropolitan Opera House, 
built upon the ruins of Metropolitan Hall and the La 
Farge House. 

This theatre bore many titles in its day. Toward the 
close of 1855, Laura Keene remodelled it and named it 
Laura Keene's Varieties. In the autumn of 1856 Burton 
came into possession and called it Burton's New Theatre. 
Three years later it acquired the style of the Winter 
Garden or Conservatory of the Arts, under which title it 
was the scene of many notable performances. I remem- 
ber once seeing General Winfield Scott in a theatre at 
one of the performances of " Hamlet " by Edwin Booth; 
he won almost more attention than did the play. Owing 
to his age and infirmity he chose to wait for easier exit 
until the audience should have dispersed, but the people 
lingered, and when the veteran appeared at the rear of 
the spacious lobby he found it closely packed on both 
sides in deep ranks, a convenient open space being left 
for him in the middle. Down this space he passed 
slowly, bowing to right and left, amid silence and the 
respectful regard of the company. The general at this 
time was past eighty, but his noble proportions were 
scarce harmed by age, his courtesy was becoming, and 
the behavior of the casual company was a notable in- 
stance of public good-breeding. 

September 30, the city was thrown into an exceptional 
commotion on learning that the Collins Line steamer 
Arctic, Captain Stephen B. Luce, had foundered off 
George's Bank, in consequence of a collision in a fog with 
the French steamer Vesta, and that out of four hundred 
and eight passengers and crew only sixty-three were 
saved. The wife, daughter, and a son of Mr. Collins 
were lost. Captain Luce was saved. 

The first officer, Mr. Gourlay, had been sent in a "boat 
to learn if the Vesta required assistance (Captain Luce 



496 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

being unaware of the damage to his vessel), and the 
chief engineer, with some of his officers and crew, 
stealthily took one of the steamer's boats and put off. 
It occurred, however, that neither the boat of the officer 
nor that of the engineer, or their occupants, were ever 
seen or heard of. 

October 27, Park Place was opened through the grounds 
of Columbia College to College Place. 

The Rev. Dr. Horatio Potter was consecrated bishop 
in November, and began his administration of the diocese 
of New York. 

All men of my age, and approximating thereto, may 
refer to many of the customs, occurrences, and conven- 
iences of the past years as being more rational, creditable, 
and comfortable than many of the present time. Thus: 
I refer to the Park Theatre (Old Drury) with pride in the 
talent and humor there displayed and the pleasures we 
have enjoyed Hczc meminisse me juvat in the instruc- 
tive, rational, and proper performances there: notably, 
those of the Keans, Cooper, the elder Booth, and Wai- 
lack; the Kembles, Placide, Caldwell, Power, Matthews, 
Barnes, Ritchings, Miss Kelly, the Woods, Mrs. Vernon, 
Charlotte Cushman, Ellen Tree, Clara Fisher, and where 
a legitimate drama was held to be superior to the exhi- 
bition of " supplemented " figures and " tights"; justly 
priding ourselves that the senseless, absurd, inconsistent, 
tinselled, vulgar, and immodest spectacles that are now 
presented to us, would not then have been tolerated. 

In referring to the pleasure I have enjoyed at this 
theatre, I am of the opinion that it is easier for one to 
express himself fully, if not eloquently, upon his griefs 
than to do justice to a recital of his pleasures. 






CHAPTER XXV 
1855,1856,1857. FERNANDO WOOD, 1855-1857, MAYOR 

1855. AT this date the City of Philadelphia had intro- 
duced into its Fire Department several steam fire-engines, 
which were readily and successfully operated. I was at 
this time a member of our common council, and having 
witnessed, on invitation, the operation of one of the 
engines in Philadelphia, on my return I essayed to have 
a committee appointed to visit that city, examine the 
working of their engines, and report to the Board. 
There were at this time two firemen in the Board, and 
my resolution was not only opposed, but was received 
with derision. It was not allowed to entertain any 
measure, or to act in any manner opposed to the views 
or convenience of "our noble firemen," or to arrest 
their amusement in competitive racing and working their 
engines, with an occasional display of the fraternal 
regard that existed between rival companies (in some 
well-known instances even to the degree of arresting an 
engine while a fire was raging), which was so manifestly 
apparent in the interchange of epithets in no wise con- 
spicuous for delicacy or refinement of sentiment, and in 
the projection of brickbats, stones, and any convenient 
missiles. To destroy such a source of amusement of our 
firemen, by the introduction of steam fire-engines, was 
not to be thought of. In a brief period after this the 
resort to steam became a necessity, and it was gradually 
introduced. 

The city of Cincinnati employed steam fire-engines at 
this time, and one of them (built by A. B. Latta) was. 



498 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

exhibited here in the City Hall Park in February. An 
exempt company, using our hand-engine No. 42, com- 
peted with the steamer, and in each of three successive 
trials exceeded it slightly in the distance to which a 
stream was thrown. But, after the trials, the men of 
the hand-engine were exhausted, while the steamer was 
fresh. It was not long after this that the general resort 
to steam was compelled. 

Castle Garden was in this year appropriated and used 
as an immigrant d6pot, where all immigrants were 
received, sheltered, and informed as to the manner of 
reaching their destinations, and whence they were trans- 
ported to the different railroad stations from which they 
were to proceed on their journeys. 

February 24, " Bill " Poole, Lewis Baker, and others of 
that class met late at night in the bar-room of Stanwix 
Hall in Broadway, opposite to the Metropolitan Hotel. 
"Paudeen" McLaughlin, a notorious character, chal- 
lenged Poole to fight, who did not notice him, whereupon 
one of the party, James Turner, drew a revolver and, 
resting it on his fore-arm, shot at Poole, but wounded 
himself, but with a second discharge his ball hit Poole in 
the leg. Baker then, without drawing his revolver, dis- 
charged it, while in his coat-pocket, directed at Poole, 
the ball entering his heart; notwithstanding this, he, to 
the wonder and amazement of the surgical fraternity, 
retained life for fourteen days. Poole was one of the 
intense Americans. He came to a not wholly inappro- 
priate end. Many will remember the lithographs that 
were widely displayed in his memory, presenting a hand- 
some man's portrait draped with national flags, and 
having underneath Poole's "last words": "I die a 
true American," by which the notion of his eminent 
patriotism was no doubt widely perpetuated. We have 

heard that his true last words were: "By , boys, I'm 

a goner ! " 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 499 

Baker escaped in a brig bound for the Canary Islands. 
At this time George Law was considered to be the lead- 
ing candidate of the Native American party for President, 
and in support of that position he individually chartered 
the clipper bark Grapeshot to follow Baker and arrest 
him on the high seas before he reached a foreign port. 
Upon the evidence of such purpose on the part of Law 
and his friends, Mayor Wood requested me to proceed 
to Washington and essay to have Baker brought back by 
a national vessel. I proceeded there and laid the matter 
before Wm. L. Marcy, the Secretary of State, who intro- 
duced me to the President (Franklin Pierce), and upon 
my statement of the case, Mr. Marcy sent for the Portu- 
guese Minister, and asked if his Government would 
allow Baker to be extradited. He promptly replied that 
it would not. The Grapeshot arrived at the Islands before 
the vessel with Baker, from which on her arrival he was 
taken out, brought back and tried for murder three times, 
the jury in each case failing to agree, and he was eventu- 
ally discharged from custody. 

Trinity Chapel, begun by Trinity Parish in 1851, was 
on April 17, this year, consecrated before it was quite 
completed. It was entirely finished in 1856. 

The first regatta of the New York Yacht Club, when 
on its annual cruise, was held this year off Glen Cove, 
over the course around the stepping-stones; the prize 
was won by the Julia. 

William M. Thackeray revisited this country toward 
the close of the year, repeating the public success which 
he had achieved on his earlier visit in 1852, and renewing 
the private friendships which were so agreeable to those 
who welcomed him here. He gave again his earlier 
course of lectures on the " English Humorists of the 
Eighteenth Century," and added the course on the 
"Four Georges." 

September 3, the great Rachel was first seen by an 



5 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



American audience at the New York Theatre, etc., 'better 
remembered by our public as the Winter Garden; remain- 
ing there until October 20, during which time she 
played a dozen parts. She caught a cold in this house 
which ultimately caused her death. After visiting 
Boston she was seen at Niblo's for a brief period, mak- 
ing her final appearance in New York on November 17, 
and her last appearance on any stage at Charleston, a 
month later. She sought relief from her pulmonary 
disorder through a winter spent in Havana, and returned 
in the spring to France, where she died in January, 1858. 
This is not the place for an estimate of Mme. Rachel's 
powers, but the memory of them is still fresh with those 
who saw her forty years ago, though she was worn and 
ill during the whole of her American tour. 

Speculation in this and the following year ran riot. 
Cotton lands, town lots, guano, gold-mines, etc., were 
put upon the market; the originators in many cases 
"watering" the stock, and in others selling out and 
leaving the outside public to develop the schemes. In 
addition to the field of ordinary stock operations, a posi- 
tive craze, so to term it, was developed in the desire to 
procure foreign or fancy poultry, and poultry brokers 
appeared upon the scene Chittagongs, Shanghaes, 
Cochin Chinas, Dorkings, and Creoles were bought and 
sold at enormous prices, ranging from fifty dollars to 
over one hundred dollars per pair. 

Delmonico's restaurant at Broadway and Chambers 
Street was first opened in this year. Chambers Street 
was opened from Chatham Street to James' Slip. 

The Academy of Music was now managed by Mr. 
W. H. Payne, a well-known resident of the city, with 
Maretzek as conductor, and Mme. Lagrange, Brignoli, 
Amodio, etc., in the company. Performances began 
October i. The business was bad, and the season 
came to an end early in January. 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR $01 

Eighth Avenue Railroad opened and commenced 
operation, from Fifty-ninth Street to Vesey Street and 
Broadway. 

1856. January 23d, the Collins steamer Pacific, Captain 
Eldridge, left Liverpool with 45 passengers and a crew of 
141 men; she was never seen or heard of after. Her day 
of leaving was three days before that of the Persia, a new 
vessel of the Cunard Line. The opposition between the 
two lines was then at its extreme of banters and bets. 
Captain Eldridge is reported to have made an ill-timed, if 
not profane, declaration regarding his course with the 
Persia, which arrived in due season, reporting not to have 
seen the Pacific, but to have encountered much field ice. 
The occasion of the Pacific s loss was evident; she had run 
into a field of ice, and as she was planked with yellow 
pine, without a collision bulkhead, she must have sunk 
with great rapidity, as not even a vestige of her was 
ever seen. 

The New Bowery was opened from the south side of 
Chatham Street to Franklin Square, and Cliff, between 
Beekman and Ferry streets, was widened. The North 
German Lloyd's line of steamers between New York and 
Bremen was established. 

April 23, occurred the benefit and last appearance 
upon the stage of " Old Joe Cowell," in his pet part of 
Crack, in which he had begun at the Park Theatre in 
1821. He was well known everywhere. 

May 25, the last services were held in the old " Brick 
Church," which yielded its site to the Times building, the 
purchase having been made, despite the assertion that a 
condition of the gift to the church of the site, was that it 
should ever be occupied for a church. 

A great public ceremony occurred on July 4, at the 
dedication of Henry K. Brown's bronze equestrian statue 
of Washington, erected in Union Square, almost on- the 
very spot where the citizens received the Commander-in- 



5<D2 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Chief when he was entering New York on Evacuation 
Day, November 25, 1783. The First Division paraded 
on occasion of the dedication, and an oration was 
delivered by the Rev. Dr. George W. Bethune. 

August 30, was burned the Latting Observatory, a 
tall tower that had been built near the Crystal Palace 
(almost on the present site of the Century Club) as an 
attraction to visitors at the World's Fair. The spectacle 
of the fire was very imposing, with its two hundred and 
eighty feet of flame upright in the air. 

September 4, Mr. and Mrs. John Wood first appeared 
in this city at Niblo's and later Mrs. Wood at Wallack's. 

At Niblo's Pauline Genet, of the Ravel company, met 
with a fatal accident by her clothing catching fire from 
a gas-jet in the theatre, inflicting horrible injuries. 

Perhaps this was the first season of German opera in 
German. The prima donna was Mme. Johanssen, the 
conductor, Carl Bergmann, with Theodore Thomas for 
concert-meister or leader. 

September 8, Burton's New Theatre, late Laura 
Keene's Varieties (in Broadway, opposite Bond Street), 
was opened with a good company. 

The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 
now 18 East Sixteenth Street, which was organized in 
1785 and incorporated in 1792, founded the Mechanics' 
School and Apprentices' Library in 1820; inaugurated a 
course of instructive lectures in 1833, and in this year 
added a Reading Room to its Library. Later (1889) it 
instituted free scholarships. 

The New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 
organized and incorporated in 1817, in 1818 occupied a 
room in the Almshouse in Chambers Street, then at 41 
Warren Street. 1819, Legislature granted it a moiety of 
the tax on lotteries; 1829, on Fiftieth Street between 
Fourth and Fifth avenues, site consisting of one acre 
donated by the city, and now occupied by Columbia 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 503 

College; 1853, sold and purchased land on Washington 
Heights (Boulevard) between One hundred and sixty- 
second and One hundred and sixty-fifth streets, Decem- 
ber 4; and in this year erected a new building. 

1857. This was a winter of severe and long-continued 
cold with heavy snows, communication between different 
parts of the country being greatly deranged. In the 
southern portion of New York the mercury fell to 28 
below zero. 

January 3, Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist residing at 
31 Bond Street, was discovered in the morning to have 
been murdered; not only were the walls of his apartment 
smeared and sprinkled with blood, but the hall, rails, and 
stairway leading to the room were spotted with it, and, 
upon examining the body, no less than fifteen wounds in 
it, from a poniard or like instrument, were discovered. 

A Mrs. Cunningham, a widow, leased the house from 
the doctor and resided there with her two daughters. 
Upon examination of her before a Coroner's jury, she 
claimed to have been married to the doctor a few months 
previous; she was imprisoned, indicted, tried, and 
acquitted. The mystery of the murder never was 
cleared up. 

The case excited a general and widespread interest in 
both the city and country. If Mrs. Cunningham could 
prove marriage with the doctor she would be entitled to 
a wife's share of his estate, and if she bore a child to 
him she would obtain the entire control and enjoyment 
of its revenue. To attain this desirable end, it was 
indispensable that a child should be procured, and the 
woman forthwith commenced to exhibit the appearance 
consonant with her purpose, and at the assigned time a 
new-born infant was received from Bellevue Hospital, 
which she had obtained through the aid of an attendant 
physician. But he, while consenting to aid her in .her 
scheme, disclosed the plan to the District Attorney, 



504 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

A. Oakey Hall, who, when her claim in behalf of the child 
was presented, exposed the fraud, and she and her 
daughters left the city. 

I was present at the examination of one of the daugh- 
ters before the Coroner, and I conceived a very decided 
opinion of the case, which, so far as the Coroner was con- 
cerned, was universally held to have been so very ill 
conducted that a presentation was made to the Governor, 
asking for the removal of such an incompetent official. 

January 21, Maurice Strakosch undertook manage- 
ment at the Academy of Music, opening with Teresa 
Parodi in " Lucrezia. " A week later Mme. Cora de 
Wilhorst, daughter of one of our most worthy and 
respected citizens, she had married abroad and after 
her return home separated from her husband, made a 
very successful debut as Lucia, and increased her reputa- 
tion in other parts which she played during the short 
season. 

April 15, Battery Place and Broadway from Fifty- 
seventh to Sixtieth Street were ordered to be widened. 
Amendments to the new charter were enacted by the 
Legislature, by which many important changes were 
made; notably, transferring the Police Department from 
the city to the State, which act was held by many of 
both political parties to be offensively opposed to home 
rule; the removal of the Mayor and Recorder from 
the Board of Supervisors, and the ceding to the State 
the appointment of a Board of Excise and a commission 
to direct and superintend the opening and construction 
of the Central Park. In addition to which, the charter 
or municipal election was changed to the first Tuesday 
in December; the boards of aldermen and councilmen to 
be reduced to seventeen for the former, and twenty-four 
for the latter, six of which were to be elected from each 
of the four senatorial districts. In 1860 it was essayed 
to change this charter, but the attempt failed. 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 505 

The Fenian Brotherhood, a political association, 
designed to effect a separation of Ireland from British 
rule, was organized in this city, which was selected as 
the basis of operation here, in Canada, and Ireland. 
Later (1866) they attempted an invasion of Canada and 
signally failed. 

This was a year of great financial distress; as a con- 
sequence, many operatives were without work, and in the 
severe weather the improvident suffered. The Common 
Council was compelled to distribute food to the poor to 
prevent rioting; many laborers were put to work in grad- 
ing the Central Park and in pulling down and removing 
the material of the Institution, formerly the Almshouse, 
etc., on Chambers Street, now the site of the new Court 
House. Nevertheless, there was much distress. Bakers' 
wagons in some instances were attacked in the streets, 
and some other acts of violence were committed. The 
Arsenal in Centre Street was guarded by the police; the 
Custom House and Assay Office by United States Infantry. 

May 21, Ascension Day, the chapel of St. Luke's 
Hospital was first opened. 

The Police Department from 1853 was governed and 
directed by the Mayor, Recorder, and City Judge, and 
the appointment of its officers and patrolmen was held 
to be in the interest of the city. When Fernando Wood 
(Democrat) became Mayor, he used the prerogative of 
appointments for his personal and political advancement, 
which action caused such general dissatisfaction that the 
State Legislature in this year enacted an amended charter 
for New York, providing separate dates for State and 
municipal elections, and distributing responsibility in 
local affairs through separate governments for city and 
county. By this charter also was constituted a Metro- 
politan Police District, including the counties of New 
York, Kings, Westchester, and Richmond, which were 
placed under a new Board of Commissioners, appointed 



506 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

by the State. This action being at variance with the 
political interests of Fernando Wood, the Mayor, he 
proceeded to declare the unconstitutionality of the act, 
and declined to disband the existing municipal police or 
to surrender the police property then in possession of 
the city; but in May the Supreme Court decided the act 
to be in accordance with the Constitution. Under the 
advice of Wood, however, a great number of captains of 
precincts and patrolmen refused to submit to the de- 
cision; whereupon the new Board (the Metropolitan, it 
was termed) dismissed the captains and the patrolmen, 
alleged to exceed seven hundred in number; but they 
disregarded the action and remained on duty, \Vood fill- 
ing the vacancies caused by those who submitted to the 
new Board, and it in like manner filling the vacancies of 
those who remained with the old Board, or rather with 
Wood, for the Recorder, James M. Smith, differed with 
him and opposed his action. 

Thus there were two details of police. 

Superintendent George W. Matsell, having refused to 
obey the orders of the Metropolitan Department, was 
dismissed by it. 

In order then to arrest such a condition of the matter, 
a warrant was issued by Smith to Matsell to arrest 
Wood, who did not recognize it and resisted. Smith 
then directed the Sheriff to serve it, which Wood also 
resisted. 

The office of Street Commissioner becoming vacant, 
the Governor of the State, John A. King, appointed D. D. 
Conover to fill it; but he, with the new police who 
endeavored to support him in obtaining possession of 
the office and its records, was driven from the City 
Hall by the old police under Wood, who claimed the 
appointing power. Warrants for Wood's arrest were 
asked for and issued by the courts, and Conover returned 
to enforce them by the aid of the new Metropolitan 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 509 

Police. This action being resisted by Wood and his 
police, an affray occurred in which. many persons were 
injured. 

I was present when Matsell rushed into the Mayor's 
office and exultingly announced that his men had defeated 
the enemy. 

The Sheriff then essayed to serve his warrant for the 
arrest of Wood, who seized his mace and declared that 
he would not submit to arrest. 

Singularly and fortuitously, the Seventh Regiment, at 
this time en route to Boston to participate in the cere- 
monies to be held in commemoration of the completion 
of the Bunker Hill Monument, was marching down 
Broadway, and being summoned to interfere, turned into 
the Park. The Mayor, entertaining the opinion that it 
was sent there to enforce the law of the State, submitted 
for the time; which action admits of the application of 
Ccelo tonantem credidimus Jovem regnare, which in this 
case might be freely rendered, When he heard the band, 
he recognized the presence of the military. 

When one considers Wood's deficiencies of early life 
and even early manhood, he was a marvel; and had he 
merited the confidence of the people, there is no position 
in this country he might not have attained. He had an 
agreeable presence, and as he advanced in years and in 
political position, he assumed a dignity and reserve of 
manner that became him. How he ever became enabled 
to address an audience with the self-possession, argu- 
ment, and eloquence that he exhibited here and in Con- 
gress, elicit'ed the wonder of all who knew him and his 
antecedents. In political advancement, in addition to his 
want of personal magnetism, he handicapped himself by 
committing the grievous error of sacrificing an old friend 
or partisan for a new one, entertaining the idea that the 
one was in possession and the other a gain; in fact, in all 
his political relations with his supporters, he fully illus- 



510 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

trated a saying of James I., Qui nescit dissimulare, nescit 
regnare. But unfortunately for his national advance- 
ment he was not only charged with two financial deficien- 
cies of exceptional character, but, Cassio-like, ''much 
condemned to have an itching palm, to sell and mart his 
offices for gold to undeservers," and like to Richard III., 
he could have said, "Why let them say, they can but say 
I had the crown, and was not fool. . ." 

Very soon after the organization of this newly created 
or Metropolitan police referred to, the levies and tributes 
put upon and demanded of violators of the laws and 
ordinances, as developed by later exposures, were in full 
force, and so thoroughly organized was the system of the 
recovery of stolen property, when it was practicable to 
operate it with impunity, that offenders escaped unless 
the tax was too large for the business, and as a result 
they had either to submit to ruin or be arrested. In 
illustration of the connection between the police and the 
thieves, an intimate acquaintance of mine, returmng 
late one night from a convivial party, where he had been 
constrained to follow the dicta of a "Court of Dover," 
became wholly oblivious of what occurred after his 
leaving the house of entertainment, until he awoke in a 
cell of a police station, minus his watch, money, breast 
pin, and sleeve buttons; in fact, he had, in the parlance 
of the police, "been gone through." Desiring to 
recover his watch, he was advised to signify his wish to 
an officer in authority, when he was told, if he would 
come in the afternoon, he would receive the watch. He 
did so, received it, and paid seventy-five dollars. 

The trouble, however, was not entirely ended. A riot- 
ous rising occurred in the Five Points on July 3, and 
something like a panic was caused in the city; but the 
Seventh was recalled from Boston, and with the aid of 
other regiments of the Guard put down the riot, in 
which six persons were killed and one hundred were 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 511 

wounded. Another rising shortly afterward at Anthony 
and Centre streets, and a later one (on July 13 and 14) 
in the Seventeenth Ward, were disposed of in like 
manner. 

Eventually the members of the Metropolitan Police 
who were injured sued Wood and obtained a verdict of 
two hundred and fifty dollars for each, which Wood was 
compelled to pay. The Legislature finally by act reim- 
bursed him. 

During this conflict of the police the detection and 
repression of crimes were measurably neglected, and the 
question of quis custodiet ipsos custodes might have been 
very properly submitted. 

Frank Leslie, soi-disant, that being an assumed name, 
publisher of the Illustrated News, caused an examination 
to be made of the cow stables of the Johnsons on 
Ninth Avenue, between Sixteenth and Seventeenth 
streets, and, as a result, he published with illustrations 
an account of the manner in which cows were stabled 
the year round, fed wholly on warm swill from the 
distillery; reciting that the operation of milking was 
conducted in a manner quite regardless of the require- 
ments of purity and cleanliness, and that for want 
of exercise, and enervation from the warm food, the 
cows became diseased; that in many instances their tails 
sloughed off, etc. The community was shocked at the 
exposure, and its credulity put to a crucial test, when 
he exposed the manner in which some hundred cows 
were stalled in sheds and fed with slops or swill from 
an adjoining distillery. I, in company with some of 
my colleagues, made an official visit to the stables, and 
could verify the statements. 

Leslie was summoned before a committee of the 
Common Council, and in consequence of one of its mem- 
bers evidencing and acting upon his eager desire, to 
shield the parties inculpated in the cruelty to the animals 



512 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

and offence to the public, the investigation 'partook 
somewhat more of a trial of Leslie than of the perpetra- 
tors of the offences charged, and from the circumstance 
that, upon his arrival in the country, he had dropped his 
natal name and assumed that of Leslie, he was subjected 
to an ungenerous examination, with the evident purpose 
of negativing his charges by the application of the legal 
term falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which was used 
to distract the committee from the purpose of its 
appointment, but partisanship so evidently venal in its 
character did not avail, and the charges that had been 
made were fully established. 

So general was the knowledge of the outrage in the 
cruelty to the animals and the imposition of an unsani- 
tary article of food upon the public, that ''swill or stump 
tailed milk " was for a long period a general term in 
expression of insufficiency or deception. 

This was an exciting summer. In August the Ohio 
Life and Trust Co. failed, owing seven million dollars, an 
act which ushered in a period of sudden, far-reaching 
disaster. The Massachusetts and the Philadelphia banks 
suspended specie payment, and the New York Legisla- 
ture authorized our banks to suspend for a year. The 
crisis of this period was in mid-October, when the New 
York banks did suspend, to resume payment, however, 
at the middle of December. Besides the more serious 
distress, there was much private annoyance during this 
time from the fact that owing to general distrust bank- 
notes were commonly uncurrent save at the places of 
their issue. Not infrequent were the cases, several of 
which were known to me, where travellers with plenty 
of money, which was perfectly sound and good, found 
themselves in places remote from their homes sud- 
denly reduced to temporary want, because, in the univer- 
sal suspicion and excitement, all notes were refused save 
those of neighboring banks whose condition was posi- 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 513 

tively known. From this cause important journeys were 
delayed in progress, and many little private tragedies 
were enacted. 

A great religious revival began and continued to 
increase, according to the law by which these manifesta- 
tions accompany periods of general misfortune. 

In August the first Atlantic cable, having been laid 
successfully, gave signs of promise, but it soon ceased to 
work in any degree. 

November 23, the remains of Major-General Worth 
were removed from Greenwood Cemetery to the City 
Hall, where they lay in state until the 25th, when they 
were taken under military escort to the place of the 
monument now standing at Twenty-fifth Street, between 
Broadway and Fifth Avenue, and there deposited, the 
monument being dedicated. 

It was in this year that, the possession of the land 
within the boundaries of the proposed Central Park hav- 
ing been obtained on the 5th of February, by the award 
of the Commissioners of damage and benefit, the Park 
Commissioners assumed control and appointed as land- 
scape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert 
Vaux, to whose genius and skill we owe that delightful 
pleasure-ground as it exists to-day. 

The increasing dissatisfaction evinced by the residents 
of the eastern shore of Staten Island, as to the existence 
of the Marine Hospital there, induced the State to 
transfer it to Sandy Hook; but the State of New Jersey, 
as possessor of the territory, objected; hence a second 
removal became indispensable, and Seguin's Point on the 
south side of Staten Island was selected and occupied. 
Soon after, the residents of the vicinity burned the 
hospitals there; whereupon, in 1859, a steamer's hulk, the 
Falcon, was obtained and used as a floating hospital. 

The project of constructing a suspension bridge 
between this city and Brooklyn being entertained, 



514 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Thomas A. Roebling, an engineer of Trenton, 'N. J., 
designed one and estimated its cost at less than two 
million five hundred thousand dollars. After the passage 
of the law authorizing its construction, he was appointed 
the engineer, and upon his death, which occurred soon 
after, his son, John A. Roebling, was appointed to suc- 
ceed him, and he prosecuted the work to a successful 
completion. 

In this year the New York Historical Society first 
occupied its present building. The Broadway Taber- 
nacle was sold, and the Association soon after removed 
to its present location at Sixth Avenue and Thirty-fourth 
Street. 

The public was much surprised and interested in read- 
ing the announcement of the marriage of Miss Mary Ann 
Baker, daughter of a very much esteemed citizen, to John 
Dean, her father's coachman. So distasteful was the 
marriage to her father that he essayed to remove her 
from the country, and also to have her declared a lunatic, 
in both of which attempts he failed, and soon after the 
affair lapsed into oblivion. 

The Orphans' Home and Asylum of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church was organized in 1852, and incor- 
porated in this year, Forty-ninth Street, between Fourth 
and Lexington avenues, for orphans and half orphans, 
three to eight years of age. The incurably diseased or 
mentally imperfect are not received. 

As steamers have almost wholly absorbed the transport 
of passengers, and as sailing vessels other than those 
employed on whaling voyages or short coast routes will 
soon disappear, a record of the size and equipment of 
one of our many ships trading between this and Europe 
may become interesting: thus The Queen of the West, 
built here in 1843, b y Brown & Bell for Woodhull 
Minturn's line of Liverpool Packets. Her dimensions 
were length, 179 feet 4 inches; beam, 37 feet 6 inches; 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 



515 



hold, 20 feet, and tonnage, 1160. The cabins were 78 
feet in length and berthed 58 adults, as well as having 
accommodations for steerage passengers, all in addition 
to a full freight in accordance with her capacity to 
bear it. 

In this year the Cooper Union was built. 




PRISON SHIP "JERSEY," 1777-1783. 



CHAPTER XXVI 
1858-1859. DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 

1858. THE corner-stone of St. Patrick's Cathedral on 
Fifth Avenue, between Fiftieth and Fifty-first streets, 
was laid. The entire plot of land extending to Madison 
Avenue was given to the Roman Catholics by the City in 
1857 for the nominal sum of one dollar. 

A great enlargement of the Astor Library was made 
by Mr. William B. Astor. 

The vast religious revival then in progress became more 
widely extended, and increased in fervor. 

January 17, the first practical test of two new steam 
fire-engines occurred, both of these newly acquired 
machines being employed at a fire. Chief Harry 
Howard made a report regarding them to the Common 
Council, the substance of which was that he " was free 
to say " that he did not think much of them. 

Niblo's Theatre was occupied by Dan Rice's Circus 
until late in March, when the Ravels followed for two 
months. 

Mary Devlin at Burton's New Theatre made her debut 
in New York, playing Juliette to Miss Cushman's Romeo. 
Miss Devlin was much admired on our stage; she mar- 
ried Edwin Booth in July, 1860, retiring soon after to 
private life. She died in February, 1863. Placide, 
Blake, and Brougham were all in the cast of " London 
Assurance." 

February 3. The steamer Baltic left Liverpool on the 
last voyage of the famous Collins Line of steamers to 
Liverpool, it finally succumbing under pressure of the loss 
of the Arctic and Pacific and adverse conditions. 



DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 517 

March i. At Laura Keene's Theatre, Miss Polly 
Marshall made her first appearance on that stage. 

April 2, Central Park extended to One hundred and 
tenth Street and on iyth Madison Avenue extended. 

May ii, three Sisters and nine patients moved into 
St. Luke's Hospital, and the regular work of that noble 
charity was thus begun. 

In June, and again in July, accidents befell the new 
Atlantic cable, but on August 6 all the long effort ex- 
pended on this essay issued in success. My readers 
who have grown up in a world of cables can scarce 
imagine the enthusiasm or I might say the transport 
which this extraordinary event created. Queen 
Victoria congratulated the President in a despatch 
across the ocean, and Mr. Buchanan replied to the 
Queen. The "Cable Celebration " in New York will be 
long remembered; the city was illuminated, Te Deum 
was sung in Trinity Church, a banquet was given to 
Cyrus W. Field, whose energy had accomplished the 
great work. The whole land broke out into celebration. 
Nevertheless, the cable, that had cost so much labor 
and money, and was the cause of so much rejoicing, 
shortly broke down entirely and again there was silence 
between the continents, to the bitter disappointment of 
projectors and people alike. 

During the illuminations in New Yoik, the cupola of the 
City Hall caught fire and the upper story suffered con- 
siderable damage, which was not for a long time repaired. 

Purdy's National, which had been busy since the fall 
with a variety of performances, in which the leading 
attractions were G. L. Fox, F. S. Chanfrau, Lawrence 
Barrett, H. A. Perry, "Yankee " Locke, Fanny Herring, 
and Emily Mestayer, was closed on August 30. 

September 20, Marietta Piccolomini made her first 
appearance in America at Burton's in "La Traviata,"'as 
Violetta, a part written for her by the composer. The 



518 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

effect produced by this artist upon our susceptible youth 
may be inferred from Artemus Ward's tribute to her, 
which may be found in the collected works of that social 
philosopher, and a summary of which is contained in his 
single sentence to the effect that " Fassinatin peple is 
her best holt." 

October 3, Burton with his company, under Eddy's 
management, succeeded the Ravels at Niblo's. At his 
benefit, on the day and evening of the i5th, the house was 
besieged by tremendous audiences, and Burton, in the 
parts of Timothy Toodle, Ebenezer Sudden, Toby Tramp, and 
Mr. Micawber, was received with overwhelming applause. 
This proved to be his last appearance in New York. 
After a little travel in the provinces he returned here, 
where he died February 9, 1860, at the age of fifty-six, 
leaving a handsome fortune and a remarkable dramatic 
and literary library. 

The receipt by me this morning of the third price-list 
or catalogue within a week, of wines, liquors, etc., from 
different firms of the city, in which the champagnes 
of many producers are included, further reminds me of 
the difference in social customs of the day and those 
of fifty years past. A schoolmate of mine, whose family 
resided on Broadway and maintained a carriage, gave 
dinners, evening parties, etc., told me some time about 
1830 that, until he was nineteen years of age he had 
never to his knowledge seen a bottle of champagne, and 
then only at the house of a French gentleman on the 
occasion of a great festivity. 

The Fifth Avenue Hotel, which had been commenced 
in 1856, was completed and leased by Paran Stevens for 
a term of years. 

Up to this time the street cars of the Harlem Railroad 
ran from opposite the Hall of Records to Forty-second 
Street; after this they ran through Madison Avenue to 
Seventy-ninth Street. 



DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 



519 



The peculiar observance of the first day of January or 
"New Year's" as it was termed, originating with the 
primitive Dutch inhabitants, was maintained up to this 
time, when it rapidly lessened, until now (1895) the 




NO. i BROADWAY, 1859 

ancient custom of visiting on New Year's Day has wholly 
passed away. In order the better to explain how and to 
what extent this custom was observed, I give my experi- 
ence in the year 1833. In company with a friend, each 
fortified with his list of parties, or where to call, -we 
began at nine in the morning, and at five in the afternoon 



520 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

we ceased, having visited sixty-seven houses. In some 
cases, in consequence of the great number of "callers" 
in a house, we merely walked in and said " Happy New 
Year," or " Compliments of the Season," "Thank you, 
we dare not indulge," "Good-morning." At other 
houses, when the young ladies were especially interesting, 
a few minutes' conversation and a sip of cherry bounce 
or coffee, "Good-morning," and off to another house. 
Such was the routine of the young men, while the elder, 
having fewer visits to make, remained longer at their 
calls and indulged in the table, lavishly spread with 
crullers, doughnuts, cookies (New Year's cakes), pickled 
and stewed oysters, chicken, turkey, mince-pies, jellies, 
etc., and with wines and liqueurs. 

No. 102 Fifth Avenue, 36 by 80 feet, was sold in this 
year for $31,200. 

October 15, Tom Taylor's play, " Our American 
Cousin," was produced at Laura Keene's Theatre, and 
had a run that extended beyond anything before known 
on our stage. Mr. Joseph Jefferson, in his "Autobiog- 
raphy," remarks that "the success of the play proved 
the turning-point in the career of three persons," 
Miss Keene, E. A. Sothern, and himself. Meantime at 
Wallack's was put on for counter attraction "The 
Veteran," composed by J. Lester Wallack, a spectacular 
melodrama; which also had a great (though less) success. 
The necessary sacrifice of Lester Wallack's whiskers to 
the similitude of a French officer in this part excited 
general lamentation among the young womanhood of 
the city. The elder Wallack played Colonel Delmar, and 
Brougham was Oflan Agan, an Irish convert to Moham- 
medanism, who had not altogether laid aside some of the 
natural O'Flanagan tastes, as for drink and the like. 
Some of his scenes with Mrs. Vernon as Mrs. McShake 
were very amusing, and the piece contained many mili- 
tary effects, picturesquely presented. 



DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 521 

October 18, the city, as well as the whole country, was 
excited by news of John Brown's raid into Virginia to 
free the slaves. 

The House of the Good Shepherd opened at foot of 
Ninetieth Street and East River. Objects, the reforma- 
tion of inebriates and fallen women who wish to re- 
form; the care of those who may be in danger of 
falling, and of the girls committed to it by the city magis- 
trates. No involuntary detention or regard to creed or 
nationality. 

November 9, the bust of Schiller, in its secluded nook 
of the Ramble in Central Park, was unveiled. 

The Dreadnaught, Captain S. Samuels, the clipper 
which once had arrived here from Liverpool the same 
day the Cunard steamer Canada reached Boston, that 
had left Liverpool the day before, in this year made 
the run hence to Rock Light, Liverpool, in thirteen days 
and eight hours. 

Depau Row in Bleecker Street, between Thompson 
and Sullivan, constructed in 1846, was once in dis- 
tinguished occupancy, but the unforeseen and rapid 
translation of our residents beyond this, soon left it in 
the background, and its occupation and surroundings, 
from about 1870, have so materially changed, that it 
would be difficult for a passer-by o/ the period to credit 
its former purpose and occupation. It is questionable 
if a single native occupies any part of it. Passing it on 
a late occasion, its condition reminded me of the Heu! 
quantum mutatus ab illo! 

1859. In addition to the customs of the early period of 
these "Reminiscences," before recited: A late visit to 
a public horse stable, erroneously termed "livery," re- 
minds me of the difference of some of the day and those 
of the time of my first observation of them. Thus: 

A furnished office, matting, prints, fire-place, wash- 
stand, harness and clothes closets, gas light, etc., as 

17* 



5 22 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



opposed to a very common and rough-built wooden 
structure, for there was not a brick or stone one for this 
use in the city, rarely an office proper; the horses led 
to the nearest street pump for water, and not a blanket 




GOVERNOR STUYVESANT'S HOUSE, WHITE HALL, ERECTED 1658 

for them, however cold the weather, these not being in 
general use even in private stables; but as some amelio- 
ration of their condition, horses' tails were seldom 
"docked"; occasionally " pricked " and, in the teams 
of a few young men, their ears were sometimes clipped, 
but that cruel device, a " Kemble Jackson " rein, was 
unknown. 

The manner in which our street lamps are lighted is so 
very different from that practised even for a very long 
period after oil was replaced by gas, that I hold it 
worthy of being recited. Thus: 






DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 523 

A street gas lamp can now be lighted in 2-^ seconds, 
and the lighting of the oil lamps involved the use of a 
ladder, a vessel of spirits of turpentine, a lantern and 
a torch, and if by the severity of the weather the torch 
was extinguished, the relighting of it, before friction 
or loco foco matches were known, was a dilatory matter. 
On the following morning the ladder was again required, 
the lamp refilled, and the wick trimmed. 

In addition to the lamps being far apart, and the light 
they gave very insufficient, they were not required to 
be lighted on moonlight nights, but the contractor for 
the lighting held and practised that moonlight nights 
were designated by the Calendar, and not by the accident 
of an obscured sky. 

This is Easter Sunday, and the style of women's 
bonnets awakens remembrances of those of the early 
period of these " Reminiscences " ; and I am of the convic- 
tion that if a woman had then appeared upon the streets 
with one of the straggling constructions of the day which 
a sailor would term a " hurrah's nest," she would have 
been held to be a second Ophelia, and would have risked 
arrest as a wandering lunatic. 

In this connection one is reminded of Pope's 

" In words and fashions, the same rule will hold, 

Alike fantastic, be they new or old : 
Be not the first, by whom the new are tried, 
Or yet the last to lay the old aside." 

As the public notices of the meetings of the Tam- 
many Society have been discontinued of late years, 
and as they were of an unusual form, I think it well to 
preserve a record of them. They were published at the 
head of the inside page of a Democratic paper, and after 
notifying the members of the meeting and when it was to 
occur, they would close in accordance with the season and 
the year: 



524 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

In this year and month of October, thus: Season of 
Fruits, Tenth Moon, Year of Discovery 36yth, of Inde- 
pendence 84th, and of the Society 73d. 

October 13, Frances A., a daughter of ex-Lieutenant 
W. A. Bartlett of the U. S. Navy, and a shipmate of mine 
in 1837-38, was married in St. Patrick's Church by Arch- 
bishop Hughes to a very rich gentleman from Cuba, Don 
Estaban Santa Cruz de Oviedo, and in consequence of 
the value of the diamonds and pearls, estimated at one 
hundred thousand dollars, he gave his bride, this mar- 
riage was attended with more eclat than any that ever 
preceded or followed it here. The ceremony was termed 
and universally known as the " Diamond Wedding," and 
as it was the first of such a character, a description of all 
the parties concerned and a recital of all that occurred 
in connection with it were themes, not only for our city 
papers but for those of the country at large and even 
abroad. Mr. Stedman's poem, "The Diamond Wedding," 
refers to this. 

The curiosity to witness the wedding was so general 
that, for the first time in this city, carols of admission to 
the church were issued, and the services of a squad of 
policemen were necessary to control the crowd of vulgar 
people who essayed to see the bride and groom. 

Oviedo died soon after and, being without a direct heir, 
his wife under the Spanish laws was not entitled to a 
right of dower, and all the property that he had given her, 
which was held to be heir-looms, was taken away from 
her. She married again an Austrian baron, but so unfor- 
tunately that she now is in embarrassed circumstances. 

Female cashiers, with the exception of one in Del- 
monico Brothers' Restaurant, when they opened it in 
1831, in William Street, were wholly unknown here until 
within a few years. So novel was the practice that this 
place was patronized in some instances in order to verify 
the assertion that there was a woman cashier. 



DANIEL F. TIEMANN, MAYOR 525 

John Ordronaux, a sugar refiner at 28-30 Leonard 
Street, surprised all by the employment of his wife as 
bookkeeper and clerk. 

"These, however, were not really instances, as the 
present profuse employment of women is an instance, of 
social manners of our own civilization; they were merely 
French importations. 

Pigeon-shooting, like horse-racing, has become afflicted 
with Anglomania. Retaining the gun below the elbow 
until the trap is sprung, and a restriction to a discharge 
from "but one barrel, is changed, not only to holding it 
above the elbow before the trap "ground" is opened, 
but sighting with the gun and the privilege of a second 
discharge. 

Prior to this year the Board of Aldermen consti- 
tuted also the Board of Supervisors, and on January 4 a 
Board of twelve Supervisors that had been elected by the 
provisions of an Act of the Legislature of the i5th of 
April of the preceding year, convened and organized. 

Ninth Avenue Railroad was opened and operated in 
this year. 

In this year the Legislature repealed the restrictive 
Excise Law, alike to the " Maine Law," it had enacted in 
1855. It was very strictly enforced. Under its pro- 
visions all dispensing of liquors was disallowed save for 
mechanical, chemical, or medicinal purposes (or wine for 
the Sacrament), save by citizens under severe bonds, with 
two sureties (householders), and the keeping of books 
with all particulars of sales open to public examination. 
Severe penalties provided imprisonment for first offence 
against two sections of the Act, and for second offence, 
against one section. 

Restrictions on transportation of liquors conformed to 
other requirements of the Act. Liquors kept in violation 
of the Act were declared to be a public nuisance. 



CHAPTER XXVII 
i860. FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 

1860. THIS last year of these '" Reminiscences " was the 
last of a great historical period ending in the Civil War 
and changes consequent thereon. Near at hand as that 
upheaval was, the people generally, and specially those 
of Republican politics, refused to believe that in any case 
the Southern States would secede from the Union, and 
looked upon the many signs of coming trouble as only 
the excited accompaniments of an unusually ardent cam- 
paign for the Presidency, destined to disappear in 
renewed quiet when the election should be over. Those 
who held the contrary view were ridiculed by the 
majority. I remember that when one of my acquaint- 
ances declared himself unwilling to make some projected 
changes in his business because he thought that war 
between the States was probable, he was much laughed 
at, and with many persons his reputation as a man of 
sense and judgment suffered seriously. 

In short, it was almost universally held in the 
North that the South never would secede, just as the 
South believed that in case of secession the North 
would not fight for the Union. Yet on December 20 
South Carolina did secede, and before the year ended 
(December 26) Anderson had spiked the guns of Moultrie, 
abandoned that fort, and occupied Fort Sumter. 

Yet, meanwhile, New York enjoyed a summer of 
unusual festivity. June 16, exceeding interest was 
excited not only in New York, but throughout the 
United States by the visit of the Japanese Embassy, 
including two princes of the reigning family, which 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 527 

reached the city via Albany, and was landed and received 
at the Battery, and escorted by the municipal authorities 
and the military to their assigned quarters at the Metro- 
politan Hotel. Soon after, a matinee was given by 
Mr. Bennett of the Herald at his residence on Washington 
Heights, which was held to have been a very sumptuous 
and successful entertainment, and was followed by a ball 
and supper by the Corporation at the Embassy's quarters 
in the hotel. Tickets for admission to the entertain- 
ment were held in such estimation that they were pur- 
chased at extravagant prices. 

The service on this occasion, according to authentic 
reports, was so far in excess of that of any previous enter- 
tainment of the kind that I forbear to describe it; one 
of the items, that of champagne, was given in thousands 
of bottles, the cost of the entertainment approximating 
a hundred thousand dollars. 

Many of my readers will find it difficult to conceive 
the novelty to us, in that day, of things Japanese and 
the first appearance here of representatives of that 
ancient empire. 

They may remember that this notable visit occurred 
but eight years after Commodore Perry's expedition to 
Japan, which first opened the way to any intercourse 
between ourselves and that nation, but it will be difficult 
or perhaps even impossible, for readers of modern times 
brought up amid surroundings of Japanese art, accus- 
tomed to deal in Japanese shops, familiar with Japanese 
gentlemen in our society, and used to the custom of 
summer tours in Japan, to picture to themselves the 
sense of absolute strangeness which this meeting with 
Japanese civilization imposed upon our most accomplished 
citizens in 1860. Probably it is well for us not to know 
what was the effect upon these high-bred Japanese, 
reared in a system of politeness so delicate as still to 
seem almost beyond Western comprehension, of their 



528 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

contact with the New York aldermen, who on this occa- 
sion rioted even unusually in the unusual opportunity 
of gratuitous feasting. The Embassy was received every- 
where with what we intended for distinguished honors, 
and the result of it was of great consequence in effect 
upon the future of Japan. It cannot be said that we grew 
very rapidly in knowledge of our new friends and their 
products, for it was quite a dozen years after 1860 that a 
merchant brought to New York a large invoice of Japa- 
nese objects of art, small and great, which filled a large 
shop, but which our citizens treated with almost entire 
indifference, much to his astonishment and discomfiture. 
These objects were many of them ancient, and all of them 
in the pure native style, unaffected by* Western influence; 
such a collection as would excite keen interest in New 
York to-day; but it remained almost wholly unnoticed. 
The few whose culture or natural good taste could partly 
appreciate the new forms of art, bought such things from 
the collection as they could afford, but the bulk of it 
remained a dea*d weight on the importer's hands, and 
was finally disposed of by auction at absurdly low prices. 
The cashier of a bank in this city who had taken from 
it in varied amounts, to meet his losses in stock specula- 
tion, a sum in excess of his capacity to repay, upon the 
approach of the period when his account was to be exam- 
ined, made his position known to a lawyer, who advised 
him to take an amount equal to his deficiency, confess 
to the directors, and settle with them by restoring one- 
half of his indebtedness, and being permitted to resign. 
He followed the advice, with the addition of taking twice 
the amount of his deficiency, and then told the directors 
that if he was permitted to resign and no report made of 
the matter, his relations and friends would make up one- 
third of the amount, which being consented to, he paid 
the amount and resigned, with a sum equal to that of his 
losses in his possession. 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 529 

Popular interest was again excited in July by arrival 
of the enormous steamer Great Eastern, which lay for a 
time on exhibition at the foot of Hammond Street, where 
she was visited by thousands who wondered at the pro- 
portions which justified her earlier name of Leviathan, 

Other visitors of the summer were the Prince de Join- 
ville and Lady Franklin, who came on an errand of grati- 
tude to those who had generously aided in the search for 
her husband, Sir John, the Arctic explorer, whose fate 
had been discovered by McClintock in the year preceding. 

October, the year's festivity reached its height with 
the visit of the Prince of Wales, who was greeted by 
immense throngs on his arrival here from Quebec via 
Boston. The harbor was full of steam and sailing craft, 
all in gay attire. 

After the Prince had received the Mayor, etc., on 
board of the frigate in which he had arrived, which he 
did in dress suited to the occasion, he was taken to 
Castle Garden, where he received the military officers, 
and the time occupied in changing his dress, according 
to the etiquette of the ceremony, was so extended that 
night was approaching before the line of march entered 
Broadway, which was lined by fully one hundred thou- 
sand people, conspicuous among whom were women with 
infants in their arms, borne in order that they at some 
future period might say they had seen the Prince of 
Wales; so, as it was near the middle of October, and as 
the evening air then, under the most favorable circum- 
stances of weather, is not salutary to infants or even 
lightly clad children and women, the result of over six 
hours (from two to eight) in the open air might have 
been predicted. 

The Prince was escorted to the Fifth Avenue Hotel, 
where he was subjected to all the forms of attention 
which are supposed to be proper for distinguished visi- 
tors, which were received by him with admirable patience. 



53 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



He was accompanied by the Duke of Newcastle and was 
heralded simply as the Baron Renfrew. 

The delay that attends our public exhibitions and 
processions, for a people who are held to be active and 
enterprising, is remarkable. One of our late militia 
generals was notorious for his procrastination in mov- 
ing his command beyond the time he had assigned. On 
the occasion of a grand " function " in a city in Europe, 
I witnessed an exhibition of promptness that would have 
put our officers to the blush. The time of march was 
fixed at 10 o'clock A. M., and before the city clock had 
ceased striking the hour, the word of command was given, 
and the head of the line was in advance motion. 

On the 1 2th a ball was given to the Prince at the 
Academy of Music. The " Prince's Ball," long famous 
in our social history, was the occasion of great display 
and some jealousies and heart-burnings, and on the i3th 
an evening parade of the Fire Department was given in 
his honor. 

The Presidential campaign was now active, popular 




FORT CLINTON, AT M'GOWAN'S PASS 






FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 531 

excitement running very high, ending in the election 
of Abraham Lincoln and some clearer indications of the 
purpose of the South. Considerable financial distress 
manifested itself; South Carolina seceded in the month 
of December, and the year which had been so full of 
gayety closed in trouble and fear. 

The Metropolitan Police occupied at this time a build- 
ing in White Street, near Broadway, afterward removing 
to the corner of Elm and Broome streets, and soon after 
commenced the erection of the present building in Mott 
and Mulberry streets. The opportunities presented to 
patrolmen for levying blackmail upon those whose pur- 
suits or practice rendered them amenable to the ordi- 
nances, were availed of even at this early stage of the 
existence of the department. 

The first tenement house, constructed as such, in this 
city (see p. 332) was lately taken down, as it was within 
the area of Corlear's Park. In 1860 there were several 
hundred of such houses, while now (1895) they have 
increased to many thousands. A census alone will 
reveal the number of their dwellers. Sixty-five of all 
ages is an average number for a house, and in some 
houses of but 25 feet front, on lots 100 feet in depth, 
100 occupants are frequently found. 

Mayor Wood suggested that all the Target companies 
in the city should meet on a certain day, and march in 
review before him at the City Hall. They concurred, 
and the display took place; but the aggregation of the 
companies was not a manifest success; whether the 
deficiency in the number of pioneers to adorn each com- 
pany, or the absence of the prizes and the negro with his 
target was the cause, no one could determine; but on 
one point they agreed that there was a void. 

From that time the Mat of " target companies" 
waned, and with the exception of some one or two on 
Thanksgiving day, Christmas, or New Year's, the custom 



53 2 



REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 



is becoming somewhat like to the existence of " Gentle- 
men of the Old School," or " Buffaloes in the West "it 
is dying out. 

The introduction of steam fire-engines was still opposed 
in this year, and their advocates were termed enemies of 
the Volunteer Department and hirelings of the insurance 
companies. The steam-engines were declared in formal 
reports to want capability and quickness of operation, 
and therefore to be of no value, save perhaps as occa- 
sionally auxiliary to the hand machines. Most fires, it 
was said, were subdued in an early stage, by the quick- 
ness of the hand engines, so the steamers would most 
often not be needed. Nevertheless, it was scarce more 
than a year from this time that eleven steamers were 
in service, and, by the year 1865, twenty-seven were 
employed; so rapid was the change of opinion on this 
important subject. 

The World newspaper was founded in June of this 
year; originally designed as a religious daily. The 
Courier and Enquirer was merged with it in 1861. Later 
it passed into Democratic hands, and for some time 
occupied a high position under control of Mr. Manton 
Marble. 

The population of New York in this year slightly ex- 
ceeded eight hundred and five thousand. This was the 
period when the city's growth began to depart substan- 
tially from John Pintard's famous estimate of New York's 
future population, which he made at the beginning of the 
century and which had been realized with close accuracy 
until this date. After 1860, Pintard's ingenious though 
simple calculation seems to go wildly wrong, since its 
result for the year 1900 is to give New York 5,257,493 
inhabitants, or about two and a half times more than 
the census of what we used to call New York will prob- 
ably count for that year. But of course Pintard could 
not allow for the devastation of war, which reduced the 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 



533 




PARK PLACE, 1836 

city's decennial rate of increase from 56.27 per cent, be- 
tween 1850 and 1860 to 16.96 per cent, for the next ten 
years a loss never to be retrieved. Nor could he have 
foreseen the rise of our Western empire, with its mul- 
tiplied great cities, all of which drew upon the East for 
their early capital stock of population; a cause which 
must have made at least some temporary diminution of 
our natural growth, and to which, together with the war, 
may be attributed the decline from our average decennial 
rate of increase which amounted to nearly sixty per cent, 
during the forty years from 1820 to 1860, to scarce more 
than twenty-three per cent, average for the thirty years 
of 1860 to 1890. But Pintard's estimate is to be further 
justified by more immediate considerations. We have to 
consider what he meant by " New York." He may not 
have foreseen consciously the difficulties of intra-mural 
travel which have driven so many New Yorkers into 
country districts for places of residence, but it is certain 
that he could not have posited his 5,257,493 population 
of 1900 all upon the Island of Manhattan, and must 
have meant by New York what we mean by London, 
Paris, Philadelphia, Chicago that is, the contiguous 



534 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

population on different sides of the rivers Thames, Seine, 
Schuylkill, and Chicago. In fairness to him, therefore, 
we must compute for an area such as is contained in the 
cities just named, that is, for what we call the Metropoli- 
tan District, including besides the political New York, 
the near-by region in close view from eminences on this 
Island, which contains a greater population than is at 
present (1895) under our City Government. This dis- 
trict will probably contain in 1900 about four and a half 
millions of people, which is not so very far away from Pin- 
tard's five and a quarter millions only about fourteen 
per cent. less. 

We may project a hypothetical computation beyond 
Pintard's date, and enquire what will be our population 
fifty years later than the last census. If the rate of 
increase of the last fifty years (including the depressed 
war period) shall be maintained, the year 1940 will witness 
a population of seven and a half millions within the 
present limits of New York. The rate of increase of the 
outlying parts is so various as to make computation of 
future growth in them a very difficult matter, as all esti- 
mates are subject to the law which reduces the rate of 
increase when population has passed beyond a certain 
stage. Thus London, taken for precisely the same limits 
in order to test the working of this law, increased decen- 
nially at the rate of twenty-five per cent, for the first forty 
years of this century, but the rate dropped to twenty per 
cent, for the next two decennial periods, and fell further 
to eleven per cent, for the next ten years, and to about 
nine per cent, for the next ten. 

Regarding the "Bowery" Theatre as it was univer- 
sally though erroneously termed, as its title was "New 
York " and Mr. Hamblin, who was so long identified with 
it, he, by the burning of the Bowery in 1836, lost heavily, 
and thereupon leased the ground and went to Europe; but 
returning in 1837 (see p. 341), he resumed the manage- 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 535 

ment, which he continued, with the interruption of another 
fire in 1845 ( see P- 3 2I )> unt ^ his death in 1853. In 1848 
he added the lease of the Park Theatre, an unfortunate 
venture, since' the building was burned with heavy loss to 
him (see p. 444). Hamblin in his late years catered for 
the million, with plays of the ** blood and thunder " order, 
so that in its locality his theatre was known as the Bowery 
Slaughter House. A man of irregular private life, he was 
honorable in all business relations, and his generosity 
was proverbial. 

In the latter years of its existence the price of admis- 
sion to the Bowery pit was but twelve and one half-cents, 
and as a result it was the resort of very many boys, and, 
in many cases, the low price was such an inducement for 
them to go that they did not hesitate at petty thefts to 
obtain the small sum required. 

As the Volunteer Fire Department has been disbanded 
and replaced by a Municipal Department (1865), the 
members of which are paid for their services, it is just 
to the former that the position it for a long time so 
deservedly occupied in the confidence of the community, 
and the zealous and effective discharge of the self- 
assumed duties of its members, should be acknowledged 
in the present time, and recorded for the future. 

Up to within a few years before the first date of these 
" Reminiscences," as fire-engines were deficient in capac- 
ity to raise water for their supply from a river or cistern, 
they were supplied either from a stream of water from a 
pump or by buckets. To obtain the necessary number 
of the latter to enable water to be borne from a distance, 
all householders were required to provide themselves 
each with two leather buckets, with their names painted 
thereon, in order that they might be returned after being 
used, and universally they were kept suspended in the 
main hall or entry of the dwelling, beside the hall lamp, 
always in place and convenient to reach. Although 



536 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

householders of later years might object to such a dis- 
play as not in keeping with marble floors and frescoed 
ceilings, it was, in the period referred to, held to be a 
token of reputable citizenship. Upon the occurrence of 
a fire, all citizens within any practicable distance seized 
their buckets, and arriving upon the scene of operation, 
they ranged in line, passing the filled buckets up, while 
women and boys passed the empty ones down. 

It was within this century that engines capable of 
drawing water and supplying themselves were introduced. 
In the absence, however, of a distributed supply under a 
head, as furnished by our hydrants in about 1833, it was 
very rare when less than three engines, each with two 
hundred feet of hose, were necessary to conduct and 
project a stream of water upon a fire. In one case 
I know, when the cisterns in the vicinity of a fire 
had been exhausted, a line extending from Greene 
Street to the North River was resorted to, involving 
the operation of sixteen engines to obtain a single 
stream of water. 

In support of the claims for the efficiency of the 
Volunteer Department, it is submitted that the engines 
were drawn by hand over cobble-stone pavements, and 
that, with the exception of a small bell on the City Hall 
and one on the Jail (now Hall of Records), and on the 
two watch houses in Christopher and Eldridge streets, 
general alarms of fire were not given, until the bell- 
ringers of some churches were alarmed and then pro- 
ceeded to their post, the further to alarm by ringing 
the bells; and yet, not until the great fire of 1835 had 
there occurred one which the Department did not 
subdue. 

There is much credit given to the present Fire Depart- 
ment, and justly too, for the unequalled celerity with 
which its apparatus is harnessed, manned, outside of its 
house, and in progress to a fire. From the time of 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 



537 



receiving an alarm it is so rapid, five seconds in the day 
and twenty at night, that, but for the repeated witnessing 
of it, it would not be credited. 

The members of the Volunteer Fire Department were 
sensitive on this point of celerity of operation, and 
although they did not retire half-dressed, and slide down 
a pole instead of running down a stairway, they were 
expeditious. Thus: 
the zealous, when re- 
tiring, raised a win- 
dow in their room in 
order to enable them 
more readily to hear 
an alarm; retained 
their stockings, and 
withdrew a basket 
from under the bed 
in which were their 
fire boots and clothes 
the operation of 
dressing was narrowed 
down to drawing: on 

CITY HALL PARK, BROADWAY. JOTHAM 

their boots, the pan- SMITH'S DRY GOODS STORE. JOHN JACOB 
taloons which were ASTOR'S HOUSE. SITE OF ASTOR HOUSE AND 

VANDENHEUVEL HOUSE. SITE OF AMERI- 

gathered over them CAN HOTEL 

were raised, coat and 

cap secured, and the finishing touches were effected 

while going out of the house and in the street. 

In illustration of the zeal displayed by some, and the 
celerity with which they could reach the engine-house, 
I know of a case where a person paid a private watchman 
one dollar per night for eighteen nights to give him the 
alarm, if one occurred. One occurred, and the watch- 
man having also to alarm another party, he was overtaken 
in the street by the one he first alarmed. 

The point of honor was "to take the engine out," that 




538 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

is, to be the first at the house, and as a reward to be 
entitled to "take the butt" (abut end) or hold the 
pipe, according to the engine being in line, or on the fire. 

Of all the theatres herein mentioned I believe none 
remain (Niblo's having been destroyed) save the old 
"Bowery," which maintained much of its former charac- 
ter until about 1879, when it was remodelled and renamed 
the Thalia. Now, under what name I know not, it 
has become a Jewish theatre, and to old New Yorkers 
seems strange enough, with its front plastered over with 
placards in Hebrew. 

About this period, or a few years earlier, an Italian, 
the Duke of Calibretto, accompanied by a French Count, 
arrived here, and they were received in society. It 
occurred that the Count was so exceptionally fortunate 
in card playing that his company was eschewed by the 
young men who had associated with him, and he soon 
after returned to France. The Duke remained, and a 
question arising as to the authenticity of his rank, Mr. 
August Belmont, through his foreign correspondence, 
learned that not only was he a veritable duke, but that 
he represented one of the very oldest of the Italian 
nobility. Soon after he entered the employment of a 
man who kept a public-house in Hoboken on the road 
to Hackensack, and upon the death of the proprietor 
of the house, he assumed it, and later he occupied a house 
fronting the ferry at Hoboken, designating it " The 
Duke's House," which he maintained for a long time in 
high reputation for excellence of cooking and service. 

Before closing these " Reminiscences," it is pertinent to 
them to put on record a few illustrations of the passenger 
street travel of the preceding period. In connection, 
then, with the notices of the primitive stage routes given 
in the early chapters, the following are added: In 1830 
there was established an irregular line of stages (omni- 
buses) between Bleecker Street and the Bowling Green, 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 539 

and occasionally a passenger could have himself carried 
some distance above Bleecker Street. In like manner, so 
late as 1836, Asa Hall and Kipp & Brown, of the Green- 
wich lines, had small stages (" carry-alls " they were 
termed), in which passengers were transferred from 
Charles Street to their destination within the limit of 
Twenty-third Street and Seventh Avenue. In 1845 this 
Broadway line was purchased by John Marshall, who 
extended the service from Corporal Thompson's 
(Twenty-third Street and Fifth Avenue) through Fifth 
Avenue to Thirteenth Street, thence through University 
Place to Eleventh Street, then to Broadway, through 
Broadway to Fulton Street, and then to the Brooklyn 
Ferry. In 1846 Samuel W. Andrews, in company with 
another, bought the line, consisting of less than twenty 
stages, increased soon after to thirty. 

The character of their service can be judged of by the 
following estimate: The distance from Twenty-third 
Street and Fifth Avenue to Brooklyn Ferry, via the 
route given, is 2^ miles, and the time of transit of one of 
the stages, with a very liberal deduction for that lost 
by delays, changing horses, etc., would average one hour 
and ten minutes, involving an interval of nearly five 
minutes between the times of service of fifteen stages 
each way. In 1850 the route was extended to Forty- 
third Street, and soon after to Forty-seventh Street; the 
service was increased by a very great addition to the 
number of stages and the route through Thirteenth and 
Eleventh streets, through to Broadway. 

There was another effective line from Thirty-second 
Street through Fourth Avenue to Fourteenth Street and 
thence through Broadway to the South Ferry, and an- 
other through Madison Avenue from Forty-second Street 
to the Wall Street Ferry. 

The completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, and the obtain- 
ing of a franchise for a railroad in Broadway by Jacob 



540 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

Sharp, arrested the stage lines, and for a brief period all 
of them ceased running. 

The Messrs. Andrews, and the proprietors of the Fourth 
Avenue line, put what were termed fare-boxes in their 
stages, furnishing their drivers with varied sums of 
money in envelopes, whereby a passenger not being able 
to put the exact fare in the box, could receive from the 
driver an envelope containing the value of ten, twenty- 
five, and fifty cents, or a dollar in change. This was held 
by the drivers to be too severe a reflection upon their 
character for honesty, and they organized and "struck." 
Some persons were so illiberal as to charge that their 
opposition to the box was because it precluded the oppor- 
tunity of omitting to return all the fares they received. 
Fora few days the service of the line was broken; but in 
the end capital and enterprise proved superior to the 
exigencies of labor. During the brief period of the 
strike, the efforts of the proprietors of the line to main- 
tain the service afforded much amusement to the public 
on the route. Mr. Marshall and such persons as he 
could obtain to aid him undertook the piloting of the 
stages, and as usual, under like circumstances, the labor- 
ing public sympathized with the striking drivers, and the 
manner in which the drivers of trucks, wagons, and cabs 
blocked the way of the stages and in race course parlance 
" pocketed " them, was amusing to all but the pas- 
sengers and the proprietors of the lines. 

The fares of the various lines gradually dropped from 
25, 12 j, 10, to 6^ cents. Later the disappearance of 
the sixpences (6.25 cents), in consequence of the arrest of 
specie payments at the beginning of the war, had ren- 
dered the 6-cent fare so very inconvenient that it was 
reduced to 5 cents. About 1830 the service of the 
Brower line was increased by the addition of four-horse 
vehicles, with a boy collector of the fares (12^ cents) 
seated on the outside. 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 541 

On Bloomingdale Road, the several hotels, in every 
instance but Dodge's at Kingsbridge, were the former 
country residences of well-known families. Such were 
"Burnham's," " Batterson's," the " Abbey," " Wood- 
lawn," and "Claremont." 

On the East side, in addition to "Cato's," there were 
on the Third Avenue " Nolan's"; the " Five-Mile 
House"; "Hazard's," at Eighty-second Street; the 
"Red House," at One Hundred and Fifth Street, and 
"Bradshaw's,"at One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Street. 

Customs, manners, and all the elements that constitute 
that which is called Life, have so changed since the early 
period of these " Reminiscences," that it is only one who 
has witnessed the changes who can give full credit to 
them. The primitive customs of the Knickerbocker have 
measurably departed. Foreign immigration, commerce, 
manufactures, and the consequent accumulation of wealth 
and the changes attendant thereon, have in a great 
measure obliterated not only the distinctive features of 
our people of the past century, but even the topography 
of the city has changed. The Battery as an elegant 
resort, the Bloomingdale and Cato's roads and Third 
Avenue, for drives; Stuyvesant's, Sunfish, and Cedar 
ponds for skating, and the Park Theatre for the drama 
proper have passed away. 

The first of these roads is a street, erroneously termed 
a Boulevard, the second is closed, and the last invaded 
by two railroads; the ponds are filled in, and in place 
of the drama, we have for the greater part ephemeral 
absurdities as inconsistent in design as they are debasing 
in exhibition. 

The " Home " of early days is regrettably passing; the 
evening walks in the Battery in the summer, the nut- 
cracking and candy-pulling parties in the winter of the 
young, the family whist party of the elders, the evening 
visiting of neighbors and friends by all, drives on Cato's 



542 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

or Bloomingdale Road, have given place to drives in 
Central Park, to dinner at eight o'clock, operas, theatres, 
balls, and clubs. 

In home life of the early days here noted, the woman 
ruled; as wife, mother, or sister; the home was the 
cradle of affection, the woman molded the character of 
the child, and tempered that of the man, for which 

"A domestic woman of her husband seen 
To be at once both subject and the Queen, 
Whilst he, the ruler of their wide domains, 
She sitting at his foot-stool reigns." 

In this year the administration of the Almshouse by 
an Act of the Legislature was transferred to a Board of 
ten Governors, and the following were appointed: 

Isaac Townsend, B. F. Pinckney, C. Godfrey Gunther, 
Isaac J. Oliver, Washington Smith, Wm. L. Pinckney, 
Chas. Brueninghausen, P. G. Moloney, Anthony Dugro, 
and James Lynch. 

The records of the following incidents, being accident- 
ally laid aside, were omitted in their proper places. 

In 1840 I first saw ailanthus trees; they had been 
brought here some few years previous, and were gener- 
ally termed the " Pride of China," and were said not 
only to absorb or dispel miasmatic influence, but to be 
noxious to flies and insects generally. 

1841. September 16. By a resolution of the Common 
Council a Board of Supervisors was created, consisting 
of the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen. 

1844. The Long Island Railroad, which was com- 
menced in 1834, was opened to Hicksville in 1837, to 
Southampton in 1841, and in this year to Greenport. 

1848. The grooved and square-block pavement, known 
as the " Russ," was laid in Broadway, but in a few years 
the surface of the blocks, from the hardness of the 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 543 

material, became so smooth as to impede traffic over them, 
and it became necessary to replace them with narrower 
blocks of a different grit, and granite was substituted. 

The ''Hunkers" were a faction of the Democratic 
party, opposed to the " Barnburners "; they were sup- 
porters of the National Administration and subsequently 
they were known as the " Hard shells." 

1849. The line of steamers for service hence to 
Aspinwall viz., Oregon, Panama, and California, organ- 
ized and built by Wm. H. Aspinwall and associates was 
completed in this year. 

The New York Institution for the Instruction of the 
Deaf and Dumb, which was chartered in 1817, was 
opened in 1818 on Fiftieth Street near Fourth Avenue, 
then removed to Eleventh Avenue and One Hundred 
and Sixty-third Street. It is a free school for all deaf 
and dumb children over five years of age, without regard 
to circumstances of their parents. 

In 1850 Henry R. Worthington, representing Worth- 
ington & Baker, submitted their pump to Captain Joseph 
Comstock, then in command of a steamboat hence to 
Providence, which Captain Comstock, upon the recom- 
mendation of his engineer, not only refused, but also 
was induced to refuse the request of Worthington to be 
allowed to put it on board the vessel and to connect it to 
hold and boiler at his own expense, and if, after opera- 
tion, it did not prove of value, to remove it. He ulti- 
mately consented, and it was put on board and connected. 
Some months after a feed-pump of one of the boilers of 
the boat became inoperative, and as there were no other 
known means of supplying it with the necessary water, 
the arrest of it and the resulting reduced speed of the 
boat were impending, when Captain Comstock said to his 
engineer, "Where is that- -thing that Worthington 
put on board? Suppose we try it." Thereupon, though 
without any faith, the engineer uncovered it from a mass 



544 REMINISCENCES OF AN OCTOGENARIAN 

of material and put it in operation, whereupon the boiler 
was supplied with the required water and that which was 
in the hold pumped out. On the return of the boat to 
this city, Captain Comstock sent for Worthington and 
gave him a certificate setting forth the efficiency and 
great value of his pump. This pump with its numerous 
modifications is now in use in every country in the 
world, in every steamboat and steamer. A steamboat 
plying between this city and Brooklyn or Jersey City, 
or crossing any stream anywhere, is not held to be safe 
without one, and in some sea steamers there are two and 
even more. 

I have been asked regarding the use of tobacco in the 
early period of these recitals, and I avail of the oppor- 
tunity to repeat that tobacco-chewing, and even snuffing, 
were much more general in the upper classes than at the 
present time, but cigar-smoking was generally less, and 
in offices and stores it was rarely to be seen. Pipe- 
smoking, other than in clay pipes by laborers, was 
seldom seen, and as to meerschaums and smoking tubes, 
there were none. 

This is the Fourth of July, and the deserted streets 
and general quiet that pervade, interrupted only at 
intervals of time and location by a few boys, with their 
fire-crackers and pistols, render the contrast between 
the observance of the day now and that of the early 
period of these reminiscences worthy of a more extended 
notice than is given at page 62. Thus : As voyages to 
Europe, other than by a few men on important business, 
were very infrequent, and as there were very few people 
who possessed country residences, people remained in the 
city until the ist of August, when the summer vacation 
(one month) of the schools began, and consequently the 
city was not depopulated as now on the Fourth of July, 
and in addition thereto all young people, and many of 
the elder, residing within a practicable distance of the 



FERNANDO WOOD, MAYOR 



545 



city, came to it on that day, and added to the observance 
of the occasion, indulging in roast pig, egg-nog, spruce 
beer and mead in the booths, and peanuts and oranges 
in the streets. There was then, and for some years 
after, an article of fireworks known as a snake from the 
tortuous manner of its motion when ignited, which our 
city boys persecuted the country girls with, for, when 
thrown on the sidewalk near to them, it was sure to give 
rise to a scream and much commotion. It eventually 
became so great and so objectionable a nuisance that the 
further sale of it was forbidden by law. 

In conclusion, and in defence of the reference to this 
.and some other matters that might be held unworthy of 
mention, it is again submitted that in a record of the 
customs and events of a period, its interest is increased 
and its integrity only maintained by a full recital 
of them. 

" Nihil est aliud magnum, quam multa minuta." 

There is not anything so powerful as the aggregate of many small 
things. 




NOTES 



1 After the retreat from Long Island, it was a question whether the 
whole American Army would not be captured in New York, the British 
being in pursuit. But Mrs. Murray in her house on Murray Hill, with 
lavish hospitality to General Howe (who, I think, was in command), 
detained him long enough to allow the Americans to slip by along the 
shore of the Hudson and occupy Fort Washington and other strong posts. 
It was said her madeira was the chief instrument to effect this end. 

2 Later an equestrian statue of George III. in lead was erected within 
the Green, which, upon the Declaration of Independence (1776), was 
pulled down and molded into bullets. 

The rails were surmounted with figures of the heads of the several 
members of the Royal family, and at the time of the destruction of the 
statue these figures were knocked off. The evidences of the fracture are 
yet visible. 

3 A Mr. Williams, who owned much land there and adjoining, presented 
an acre of it to the Manhattan Co. for the purpose of their building a 
banking house there, to accommodate it when yellow fever existed in 
the city. 



INDEX 



" Abbey," 54 

Abduction of Arthur and Lewis 

Tappan, 299, 300 
Abingdon Road or Love Lane, 

8-9 

Abolitionists, 299, 378, 41.1 
Abolition Party, 378 
Academy of Music, 494, 500, 504 
Acadia, 352 
Adam and Eve, 270 
Adams' Express, 330 
Adams, John, 97, 257, 339 
Adams, John Q., 235, 339, 383, 

384, 440 

Adams, Samuel, Murder of, 374 
Adelphi Hotel, 224 
Adirondacks, 194 
Adonis, Francis, 78 
Adriance, John, 242 
Advance, 460, 486 
Advertising, 47 
Advices from India via New York, 

Qi 
Advices from Liverpool, etc., 286, 

452 
Advocate, The, 47, in, 113, 150, 

159, 265 
.'Etna, 170 

African Chapel, 290, 343 
African Methodist Episcopal 

Church, 207 

Agricultural Society, 114 
Ailanthus Tree, 542 
Ainslie's, 61 
Akerly, Samuel, 339 
Albany, 172 
Albany Basin, 6, 121 
Albany Basin, Sale of Lots, 121 
" Albany Pony," 411 
Albany Sloop, Capsizing of, 159 
Albany Stage Office, 43 
Albany Vessels, 43 
Albion, Establishment of, 135 



Albion, Loss of, 131 

Aldermen, Board of, 316, 411 

Aldrich, E. T., 426 

Allaire, James P., 54, 159, 269, 

332, 426 

Allaire Works, 84 
Allen, Caradori, 331 
Allen, Horatio, 240 
Allen, Lieutenant, Wm. H., 84 
Allen, Stephen, 119, 138, 349, 373, 

480 

Alley, Saul, 222, 349 
Almshouse, 26, 83, 90, loo, 194, 

424, 439, 502, 505, 542 
Almshouse, Commissioners of, 100 
" Alsatia," 376 
America, 472-474 
America, Bank of, 49 
American Academy of Arts, 218 
American Bible Society, 82 
American Colonization Society, 

27 

American Congress, 2 
"American Eclipse," 92, 136, 

143, M4, 387 
American Express, 330 
American Hotel, 225, 537 
American Institute, 187, 237 
American Line of Steamers, 460 
American Museum, 82, 83, 160, 

2I9> 399 

American Musical Institute, 417 

American, New York, no 

" American Notes," 383, 384 

American Opera House, 240 

" American Star," 159 

American Steamers and Steam- 
boats, 429 

American Sunday-school Union, 
226 

"Americus," 411 

Amistead, 342, 343 

Amity Lane, 10 



547 



548 



INDEX 



Amity Street, 12 

Amodio, 500 

Amusements, Places of, 126, 218 

" Anatomical" Hair-cutting, Boot- 
makers, etc., 57 

Anchor Steamship Line, 482 

Anderson, Cornelius V., 314 

Anderson, John, 389 

Anderson, Mr., 260 

Anderson Riot, 260 

Andre, Major, U. S. A., 22, 123, 
526 

Andrews, Messrs., 540 

Andrews, Samuel W., 539 

" Animal Magnetism," 467 

Ann Me Kim, 282 

Ann Street, 243, 264 

Anthon, Rev. Henry H., 377 

Anthony Street, 12, 84, 264, 310 

Anthony Street Riot, 511 

Anthony Street Theatre, 50, 102, 

114, 122 

Anthracite Coal, 65, 116, 119, 

147, 151, 227, 320 
Anti-Masonic Party, 187 
Apollo Hall, 410, 411, 417 
Apollo Saloon, 328 
Apprentices' Library, 118 
Apprentice System, 72 
Appleton, Messrs., 212 
Apthorpe Mansion, 22, 258 
Aquarium, Public, 21 
Aqueduct Department, 452 
Arabian Horses, 258 
Ararat, City of, 173 
Arbuthriot and Ambrister, 235 
Arcade, 216 

Arctic, 459, 461, 495, 516 
Arcularius, Colonel, 288 
Arden Street, 237 
Argonaut Year, 450 
Arion Society, 437, 494 
Arnold & Constable, no 
Arrival of Havre and Liverpool 

Packets, 262 
Arsenal, 505 

Arsenal in Elm Street, 288 
Arsenal in Madison Square, 339 
Arsenal, U. S., 165, 339 
Arson, 82 

Art Street, no, 337 
Arundel Street, 229 
Ashburton, Lord, 359 



Ashburton Treaty, 389 
Aspinwall, Wm. L., 336 
Assay Office, 505 
Assessed Values and Expenditures, 

482 

Assize of Bread, 114 
Association of Hebrews, 173 
Astor House, 315, 1537 
Astor, John Jacob, 315, 418, 440, 

456, 457, 537 

Astor Library, 122, 440, 456, 485 
Astor Place, 122 
Astor Place Opera House, 185, 

405, 438, 443, 452, 465, 476, 

480, 493 

Astor Place Riot, 186, 454, 455 
Astor, Wm. B., 315, 418, 440, 

456, 516 

Asylum Street, 272 
Atheneum, 218 
Atheneum Hotel, 161 
Atlantic Cable, 513, 517 
Atlantic Cable Company, 493 
Atlantic, Collins line, 449, 451, 

461 

Atlantic Garden, 21, 60 
Atlantic Garden (Bowery), 357, 360 
Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co., 385, 492 
Atlantic, Steamboat, Loss of, 429 
Atterbury, Louis, 223 
Attree, Wm. H., 348 
Attucks, Crispus, I 
At will, Assistant Alderman, 393 
Auction Hotel, 104, 133 
Augusta, La Petite (Williams), 338 
Augustus Street, 285 
Austin, Mrs., 227 
Automaton Chess Players, 218 
Avenue D Opened, 101 
Awning Posts, 445 

Bachelors' Ball, 233, 255, 407 
Badger, Bela, 282 
Bailey, A. M., 227 
Bailey, Benjamin, 227 
Bailey, Theodorous, 31 
Baked Pears, 35 
Baker, Lewis, 498 
Baker, Mary Ann, 514 
Baker's Boy, 35 
Bakers' Wagons, 505 
Balance or Gilbert Dock, 404 
Ball, Alderman, 387 






INDEX 



549 



Balloon, Arrival of, 410 
Ballston Spa, 194 
Baltic, 461, 516 
Baltimore Clippers, 117, 283 
Bananas, 54, 96 
Bancker, Evert A. , 308 
Bancker Street, 12, 192 
Bancroft, George, 259, 416, 468 
Bank Coffee House, Niblo's, 124, 

225, 230 

Bank of America, 49, 274 
Bank of Commerce, 336 
Bank of New York, 49 
Bank Question, 290 
Bankrupt Law, 372, 385, 396 
Banks, 49 

Banks, Failure of Country, 58, 183 
Banquet at Castle Garden, 289 
Barita, Signora C., 438 
Baptists, 208, 209, 210 
Baptists' Resort for Immersion, 17 
Barclay Street, 6 
Barclay Street Medical Institute, 

313 

Barge Office, U. S., 41 
Baring, Alexander, 389 
Barker, Jacob, IO2, 183, 185, 189, 

216 

"Barn Burners," 416 
Barnes, John, 92, 185, 262, 373, 

496 

Barnes, Mrs. John, 133, 374 
Barn Islands, Great and Little, 30 
Barnum, Captain H. L., 129 
Barnum, P. T., 160, 219, 399, 

463, 464, 470 

Barnum's Museum Burned, 161 
Barrett, George H., 191, 328, 

442 

Barrett, Walter, 158, 179 
Barrett, Lawrence, 517 
Barrow Street, 229, 237, 273 
Bartlett, J. S., 135 
Bartlett, Wm. A., 524 
Bartlett, Francis A., 524 
Barton, Duel of Mr., 223 
Base-ball, 77, 104 
Basins, 6 

Bateman, Ellen and Kate, 458 
Bateman, H. L., 459 
Bath Race Course, 103 
Bath-rooms, Public and Private, 

54 



Baths in Chambers Street, 54, 103 

Bath, Stoppani's, 54 

Battersby, Mrs., 132 

Batterson's, 262, 541 

Battery and Park Fences, 34, 126 

Battery Place, 243, 504 

Battery, The, 17, 19, 138, 163, 474 

541 

Battle of New Orleans, Anniver- 
sary of, 150, 222 

Baxter Street, 324 

Bayard, Peter M., 234 

Bayard, William, 30 

Beach, Moses Y., 410 ' 

Beards, 69 

Bear Market, 27 

Beaver Lane, 237 

Beaver Street, 13, 285 

Bedlow's Island, 287 

Beecher, Captain, 166 

Beekman House, 22 

Beekman, James W., 22 

Beekman's Greenhouse, 449 

Beekman Street, 125 

Beekman Street Theatre, 50 

Beekman, William, 22 

Belgium Pavement, 273, 482 

Bellevue, 26 

Bellevue Almshouse, 194 

Bellevue, Employment of Prison- 
ers, 16 

Bell, Jacob, 237 

Bell, John, 329 

Bellona, 170, 240 

Bells, House, 66 

Bell Tower, 264 

Belmont, August, 326, 373 

Beman, Rev. Dr., 281 

Bennett, James G., 240, 241, 244, 
265, 293, 295, 312, 331, 365, 
385, 396, 527 

Bennett, J. G. &Co., 295 

Benson, Egbert, 308 

Benson, Robert T.. 30 

Beresford, Lord, 300 

Bergh, Christian, 22, 27, 237, 330, 
403 

Bergh, Henry, 25 

Bergmann, Carl, 502 

Berrault, Charles, 53, 104 

Berrian, Rev. Dr. Wm., 212 

Bertrand, General Count, 405 

Bethune, George W., 502 



550 



INDEX 



Bidwell, Marshall S., 91 

Billiard Parlors, 57 

Billiard-rooms, 59 

Billiard, Shaving, and Oyster Par- 
lors, etc., 57 

Billings & Monnot, 417 

Birch, George and " Billy," 447 

Birch, Harvey, 129, 130 

Bird, Dr., 259 

Bishop, Mme. Anna, 438, 465 

Bishop, Sir Henry, 438 

Black Ball Line, 44, 119, 139, 332 

Blackmail, 320 

44 Black Maria," 282 

Black Star Line, 470 

Blackwell, Robert, 30 

Blackwell's Island, 30, 233, 424 

Blake, William R., 160, 328, 442, 
5i6 

Blanchard's Amphitheatre, 244, 

254 

Bleecker, James, & Co., 296 
Bleecker Street, 485 
Bleecker Street Savings Bank, 91, 

324 

Blockhouse, 373 
Blockhouses, 3 
Blocks, Location of, n 
Bloodgood, John M., 168 
Bloomer, Mrs. A. J., 458 
Bloomingdale Asylum, 12 1 
Bloomingdale or Harsenville, 6, 

459 
Bloomingdale Road, 9, 10, 21, 374, 

541 

Bloomingdale Square, 492 

Bloomingdale Stage, 101 

Blowing up of a Building, 306 

" Blue Man," 466 

Blunt, George W., 283 

Boarding-school for Boys, 98 

Board Fences, 12 

Board of Aldermen and Assist- 
ants, 487 

Board of Education, in 

Board of Excise, 504 

Board of Health, 267 

Board of Marine Underwriters, 
425 

Board of Supervisors, 504 

Boat Clubs, 253, 298 

Boat Ferry to Hoboken, 113 

Boat Race, 159 



Boat Race, Eagle and Wave, 298 
Bodine, Mrs. Polly, 420 
Bogardus, General Robert M., 124 
Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon, 328 
Bonds and Stocks, Sale of, 386 
Bonfanti, Joseph, 107, 233 
Booby Hacks, 34 
Book Auction, 126 
Book Club, 297 
Bookmakers, 144 
Booksellers' Dinner, 326 
Boot and Shoe Blacking and Street 

Shoe Blacking, 88 
Booth, Edwin, 495, 516 
Booth, Junius Brutus, 52, 123, 230, 

232, 245, 301, 371, 474, 496 
Booth, T. G., 405 
Booths around the Park, 62, 371, 

424, 545 

Boot-making, "Anatomical," 57 
Boring for Water, 217 
Borland, John, 149 
Borland & Forrest, 149 
Boston, 459 
" Boston," 387 

" Boston Blue," 132, 195, 410 
"Boston Massacre," i, 2 
" Boston Tea Party," I, 249 
Boston, Travel to, 43 
Boston Turnpike, 7, 21, 165, 221, 

291, 345 

Botanical Garden, 176, 177 
" Bottle Alley," 376 
Boulevard, Grand, 22, 541 
Boundary Line, New York and 

New Jersey, 286 
Bouquets, 285 
" Bouquet Man," 415 
Boutonnieres, 285 
Bowery Auction, 358 
Bowery Bank, 327 
Bowery Boy, 270, 355 
"Bowery" (New York) Theatre, 

191, 192, 220, 230, 246, 254, 

305, 312, 323, 324, 335, 341, 

355, 36o, 400, 413, 421, 424, 

435, 457, 534-535, 538 
Bowery, The, 122, 354-365 
Bowling Green Fountain, 403 
Bowling Green Railing, n 
Bowne, Walter, 227, 231, 243, 264, 

267, 349 
Boyden, S. & F., 315 



INDEX 



551 



Boyd, John J., 291 

Boyd & Hincken, 148 

Boys' and Men's Clothes, 74, 116 

Boys' Clothing and Dress, 74, 76, 

116 

Boys' Schools, 99 
Brace, Charles L. , 486 
" Bradshaw's," 541 
Bradshaw, Widow, 251 
Brady, John T., 373 
Brady, Win. V., 431-433 
Braham, John, 354 
Branch Bank of U. S., 49 
Branch Mint, 419 
Brandreth, Benjamin, 324 
Brandy/wine, 172 
Brasher, Alderman Philip, 140, 

308 

Bread and Cheese Club, 162 
Bread, Assize of, 114 
Breakneck Hill, n, 261 
Brevoort, Henry and Mrs., 311, 

348, 372 

41 Brick Church, "93, 204, 212, 501 
Bridewell and Jail, Removal of, 

I5i 

Bridewell, or City Prison, 25 
Bridge, Castle Garden, Fall of, 274 
Briggs, Charles F., 486 
Britannia, 351, 352 
British Evacuation, 3 
British Packets, 44 
British Queen, 340, 416 
Broad Street, 13 
Broadway, 85, 418, 426, 437, 444, 

461, 504, 519, 537 
Broadway and Murray Street, 58, 

266 

Broadway Circus, 136, 219 
Broadway, Corner of Grand Street, 

131 

Broadway House, 414 
Broadway Railroad, 539 
Broadway Stages, 215, 217, 238 
Broadway Theatre, 186, 219, 328, 

438, 465 

Brokers' Exchange, Board of, 86 
Brokers, Real Estate, 296 
Bronx River, 169, 214 
Brooklyn Bridge, 539 
Brooklyn Ferry and Boats, 39 
Brooklyn Ferry Boat, Capsizing 

of, 125 



Brooklyn Heights, 17 
Brooks, James and Erastus, 312 
Brooks, James G., 265 
Broome Street Slip, 6 
Brothels, Licensing of, 292 
Brougham, John, 444, 451, 516 
Brougham, Mr. and Mrs., 391 
Brougham's Lyceum, 329, 465, 479 
Brower, Abraham, 215, 540 
Brower's Gallery, 218 
Brown & Bell, 145, 470, 514 
Brown Brothers & Co., 482 
Brown, David, 237 
Browne, George W., 104, 189 
Brownell, J. S., 391 
Brown, Henry K., 501 
Brown's, John, Raid, 521 
Brown's, Noah, Ship-yard Fire, 

145 

Brown, Wm. H., 459 

Bruce, David and George, 82 

Brueninghausen, Chas., 542 

Bryant, Daniel, 448 

Bryant Park, 138, 488 

" Bryant's Minstrels," 447 

Bryant, William C., 224, 234, 255, 

339, 468, 474 
Bryson, David, 373 
Buchanan, Mr., 517 
Buckley's New Orleans Serenaders, 

446 

Buck's Horn Hotel, 28, 247 
Buck's Tail, Wearing of, 91 
Buffalo Hunt, 405 
" Bugs, The," 295 
Buildings, Height of, 315 
Bull and Bear Baiting, 50 
Bulkhead or Exterior Line, 6 
Bulkheads, Piers, and Slips, 6, 7, 90 
Bull Bait at Paulus Hook, 146 
Bull's Ferry, 39, 253 
" Bull's Head," 485 
Bull's Head Hotel, 28, 168, 191 
Bull's Head Stage, 139 
" Bully Hall's " Failure, 168 
Buloid, Robert, 61 
Bunce, Joseph, 321 
Bunker, C., 121, 394 
Bunker, Captain E. S., 186, 217 
Bunker Hill Monument, 372, 403 
Bunker, Wm. J., 224 
Burdell, Harvey, Dr., 503 " 
Burke and Hare, 241, 242 



55 2 



INDEX 



Burke, Master, 246 

"Burking," 241 

Burling Slip, 6 

" Burned District," 311, 322 

" Burned Rag," 309 

Burnham, Michael, 47 

Burnham's, 214, 250, 262, 541 

Burns and Mclvor, 352 

Burr, Aaron, 97, 223, 274, 320 

Burton's Theatre, 371, 400, 407, 

435, 442, 443. 451, 495, 502 
Burton, Wm. E., 339, 371, 442, 

495, 515 
Burying in Trinity Churchyard, 

134 

Business Condition, and Strin- 
gency, 325, 326, 381, 402 

Butchers, 60 

Butchers and Shops, 89 

Butchers, Market, 378 

Butchers, Number of, 101 

Butchers' Parade, 89 

Butler, Benjamin F., 426 

Butler, Frances Kemble, 268, 451 

Butler, Rose, 102 

Butler & Heyer, 47 

Butter, Price for, 61 

Byrnes, Trimble & Co., 129 

B. & N. A. R. M. Steam Packet 
Co., 352 

"Cable Celebration," 517 

Cabs, 54, 367 

Cadets, West Point, 249 

Cadwallader, General, 423 

Cafddes Mille Colonnes, 388, 407 

Caf/ Fran$ aise, 59 

Caldwell, 496 

Caldwell, J. P., 387 

Caledonia, 352 

Calibretto, Duke of, 538 

California, 436, 443, 450, 451 

Calvary Church, 427 

Calvinistic Church, 201 

Cambreling, C. C., 308 

Camden and Amboy Railroad, 269 

Campbell, Mrs. William P., 30 

Campbell's, 448 

Canada, 521 

Canal Ball, 173 

Canal Street, 467, 492 

Canal Street, Filling in, 7, 16 

Canal Street Sewer Finished, 101 



Canal Street Sidewalks, Extension) 

of, 172, 192 
Candidates for Office and Expend 

iture of, 34 

Canned Vegetables and Fruits, 61 
Canning, Stratford, 113 
Canvas-back Ducks, 237 
Cape's Shipyard, 351 
Caps, Fur, 181 
Cards, Playing, 70 
Carlton House, 346, 385 
Carman, Richard T., 251 
Carman, Samuel, 124 
Carriages, Private, 6, 9 
Cars, Street, 54 
Cashier of a Bank, 528 
Cashiers, Female, 524 
Castle Clinton, 18, 21, 48, 134 
Castle Garden, Fete at, 154, 340, 

49 8 529 

Castle Garden Banquet, 289 
Castle Garden Bridge, 48, 274 
Castle Garden Theatre, 244, 254, 

438, 462, 463 
"Castle Point," 255 
Cathed ral , Protestant Episcopal ,234 
Catherine Ferry, 39 
Catherine Market, 27 
Cato's, 61, 63, 195, 250, 313, 541 
Cato's Road, 17 
Cedar Creek, 78 
Cedar Ponds, 541 
Cedar Street, 264 
"Cedar Street" Church, 212 
Celebration of Dethronement of 

Charles X., 249 
Celeste, Mme., 219, 292, 322 
Census, City, 108 
Census, United States, 108 
Centennial Anniversary of Evacua- 
tion, 65 

Central America, 447 
Central Park, 16, 18, 465, 468, 

504, 505, 513, 517, 542 
Centre Market, 138 
Centre Street, 16, 219, 294 
Century Club, 431 
Chabert, Xavier, 279 
Chain Rigging, 168 
Chains across Streets, 74 
Challenge Horse Race, 140 
Chamber of Commerce, 151, 395,. 

425 



INDEX. 



553 



Chambers Street Extended, etc., 

165, 294 
Chambers Street Savings Bank, 

90 

Champagne, 59, 518 
Champ lain, 300 
Chancellor, 216 
Chancellor Livingston, speed of, 

43, 256 

Chancellor, Salary of, 32 
Chanfrau, F. S., 355, 412, 440, 

45i, 517 

Chapel Street, 243, 284 
Chapman, Caroline, 451 
Charleston Packets, 131 
Charraud, John, 107 
Charter, Defeat of Proposed, 452 
Charter Election, 287, 419 
Charter, New, 487 
Chatham Garden Theatre, 123, 

132, 160, 174, 186, 240, 241, 

244, 254, 259, 344, 345, 4O5, 

412 

Chatham Street, 12 
Chatham Street Chapel Riot, .289 
Chatham Street Garden, 160 
Chatham Street, Great Fire in, 204 
" Cheap Johns," 358 
Cheapside, 220 
Chelsea, 190, 262, 267, 279 
Chemical Bank, 152 
Cherry Street, 13, 311 
Chestnuts, Roasted, 54, 229 
Chief of Police, 324, 
Chiffoniers, 54 
Child, LydiaM., 280 
Children's Aid Society, 486 
Children's Sports, 77 
Chilton, Dr., 158 
Chimney Fires, 146 
Chimney Sweeps, 35 
Chinchilla Hat and Negress, 181 
Chiropodist, 490 
Cholera, 456 

Cholera Hospitals, 265, 267 
" Cholera Year," 266 
Christ Church, 50, 140, 434 
Christian Intelligencer, 253 
Christmas, 78, 98, 150, 213, 531 
" Christmas Tree," 330 
Christopher Street, 272 
Christopher Street Ferry, 218 
Christy, E. P., 446 
1 8* 



Christy, George (Harrington), 446, 

447 

" Christy's Minstrels," 446 
Chrystie, Lieutenant-colonel John, 

84 

Chrystie Street, 229 
Churches and Houses of Worship, 

197-213 

Churches, Number of, 139 
Church of the Ascension, 375 
Church of the Messiah, 212 
Church Service, 74, 213 
Cigarettes, 54 
Cigars and Case, 57 
Cigar Smoking, 544 
Cincinnati, Travel from, 231 
" Cinderella," 254, 275 
Circuit Judges, 32 
Circulating Libraries, 126 
Circus, Broadway, 219 
Cisterns, Rain Water, 36 
Citizen, 240 

*' City Assemblies," 367 
City Bank, 49 

City Bank, Robbery of, 258 
City Blocks, II 
City Despatch Post, 385 
City Directory, 35, 86, 467 
City Expenditures, 214 
City Fire Engine, 196 
City, Fortifying of, 18 
City Hall and Park, 67, 155, 228, 

517, 537 

City Hall Fire Alarm Bell, 286 
City Hall Park, 4, 537 
City Hall Place, 285 
City Hall, Rear of, 86 
City Hotel, 28, 92, 224, 229, 273, 

317, 461 

City Library, 218 
City Officers, 32 
City of Mexico, Painting of, 32 
City Ordinances, 180 
City Prison or Bridewell, 26 
City Stages, 231 
City Theatre, 132 
City Treasury, Balance in, 101 
Civil War, 526 
" Clam Man," 35 
"Claremont, The," 25, 377, 541 
Clarion, 367 

Clark, Aaron, 112, 311, 335 . 
Clark & Browne, 133 



554 



INDEX. 



Clark, D. A., 420 

Clarke, Captain Thomas, 262 

Clarke, McDonald, 95 

Clark, Lewis G., 271 

Clarkson, Bishop, 281 

Clarkson, General, 154 

Classical Schools, 148 

Clay Campaign, 408 

Clay, Henry, 341, 402, 439, 477 

Cleaning of Streets, Piers, etc., 

168 

Clerks, 71 

Cliff Street, 2, 220, 501 
Clifton, Josephine, 259, 260 
Clinch, Charles P., 132, 241, 262 
Clinton, Fort, 18 
Clinton, General Charles, 22 
Clinton, Governor De Witt, 100, 

228, 238, 420 

Clinton Hall, 277, 474,481,493 
Clintonians, 101 
Clinton Market, 215, 237 
Clipper Ships, 470-472 
Clothes, Men and Boys', 74 
Clothiers or " Merchant Tailors," 

77 

Clubs, 54 

Clyde, Thomas, 417 

Coal Co., Rhode Island, 65 

Coal, Use of, 65 

" Coasting," 12 

Coastwise Navigation, First by 
Steam, 108 

Coddington, Jonathan I., 308, 
409 

Coenties Slip, 6, 294 

Cbenties Slip Filled in, 294 

Coffee House Slip, 6 

Coffee House, Tontine, The, 29, 48 

"Coffin Handbills," 236 

Cogswell, Dr. Jos. F., 440 

Golden, Cadwallader D., 78, 84, 
102, 113, 119 

Golden, David C., 189 

Cold, Intense, 119, 176 

Cold Water and Drinks, 112 

Coleman, William, 47 

Coles, Nathaniel, 144 

Collect Market, 27 

Collect Street, 229 

Collect, The, 14 

College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, 28, 193 



College Place, 81, 243, 284, 496 
Collins, E. K., 448, 461 
Collins, E. K. & Co., 322 
Collins Line, 449, 459, 460, 516 ' 
Colonization Society, American, 

27 

Colonnade Row, 296 
" Colored Persons Allowed in this 

Car," 181 

Colored Presbyterians, 206 
Colored Theatre, 123, 162 
Colt, Samuel, 374, 377 
Columbia, 352 
Columbia College, 81, 121, 176, 

414, 502 
Columbia College, Site of, 121,. 

502 

Colvin, Andrew, 216 
Commerce, 160, 171 
Commerce, Bank of, 336 
Commerce of New York, 84 
Commercial Advertiser, 47, 255, 

294, 330, 413 
Commercial Distress, 183 
Commissioners' Map of 1807, II, 

119, 180 

Committee of Citizens on Munici- 
pal Laws, 245 

Committee of Vigilance, 300 
Committee to Submit a New Con* 

stitution, 428 

Common Council, 32, 86, 259 
Common Prayer-book, 213 
Common School System, 399 
Communion, 213 
Comptroller, 265 
Comstock, Capt Jos., 543 
Coney Island, 31, 251, 331 
Conflagrations, Three Extensive^ 

256 

" Congo Minstrels," 411 
Congregational Churches, 201 
Congress Hall, 28 
Connecticut, 43, 133 
Conolly, Richard B., 309, 487 
Conover, D. D., 506 
Consolidated Gas Company, 210 
Constable, High, 31 
Constitiiticn and Constellation 

Launched, 176 
Constitution, New, 134 
Constitution's Quick Passage and 

Collapse of a Flue in Boiler, 170 



INDEX. 



555 



Constitution, U. S. Frigate, 302 

Contoit, John H., 59, 60 

Contoit's Garden, 350 

Conviction of Directors of Insur- 
ance Companies, 183 

Cooke, George F., 52, 301 

Cooley, James E., 389 

Cooper, Edward, in 

Cooper, James Fenimore, 129, 
162, 221, 277, 292, 336, 474, 496 

Cooper, Peter, in, 493 

Cooper's, Peter, Glue Factory, 15 

Cooper, Thomas, 52, IO2, 346, 347 

Cooper Union, 112, 515 

Copper Tokens, 310 

Corlear's Hook, 17 

Corlear's Park, 531 

Corlies, 402 

Corn Doctor, 490 

Cornelia Street, 272 

Cornell, Robert C., 421 

Corner Stores, 379 

Coroner, Election of, 134 

Coroners, Appointment of, 32 

Corporal Thompson, 366, 487, 539 

Corporation Ball and Supper, 543 

Corporation Yard, 82, 85 

Cortlandt Street Ferry, 39 

Coster, John and Gerard H., 251, 

273 

Coster, John G., 413 
Cotte, Peter, 96 
Cotton, Consumption of, 179 
Cotton, Rise in Price, 152 
" Cotton Wearers," 390 
Councilmen, Board of, 487 
Counters of Banks, Protection of, 

70 

Country and Fish Market, 278 
Courier and Enquirer, 244, 312, 

532 

Courrier des Etats Unis, 166 
Court House, 90, 285 
Court House, New, 26 
Courtney, Mr., 25 
Court of Sessions, 32 
Courts, The, 32 
Cowell, Joseph, 125, 501 
Cowhiding of a Gentleman, 137 
Cowhiding of an Editor, 465 
Cows in the Streets, 60 
Cox, Charles, 270 
Cox, Samuel S., 311 



Cox's, Dr., Church, 290 

Cox & Knock, 270 

Craig, J. C., 282 

Cram, Jacob, 103 

Crane Wharf, 125 

Cranston, Hiram, 437 

Crassous & Boyd, 133 

Crawford, Abel, 194 

Critic, 234 

Crittenden, Hon. J. J., 388 

Cropsey & Woglum, 251 

Crosby, Enoch, 129, 249 

Crosby, William B., 22, 273 

Cross Street, 264 

Croton Aqueduct, 298, 388, 392, 

452 

Croton Aqueduct Board, 452 
Croton Aqueduct Department, 32, 

290, 298, 388 
Croton Bugs, 59 
Croton Water, 69, in 
Croton Water Celebration, 391 
Cruger, James C., 273 
Crystal Palace, 488 
Cunarder, First, 351 
Cunard Line, 352, 436, 461, 472 
Cunard, Samuel, 352 
Cunard Steamers, 411, 436 
Cunningham, Mrs., 503 
Currency, Fractional, 57 
Curtis, Edward, 413 
Curtis, Geo. Wm., 486 
Cushman, Miss Charlotte, 52, 323, 

331, 339, 354, 373, 388, 403, 

474, 496, 5i6 
Cushman, Misses, 388 
Custom House, 85, 155, 181, 311, 

375, 386, 505 

Customs, Manners, etc., 541 
Cutting, Brockholst, 273 

Daguerre, 351 
Daguerreotype, 344, 351 
Daily Advertiser, 312 
Dakin, or Sectional Dock, 404 
D'Amsmont, Mme., 474 
Dana, Charles A. , 369 
" Dandy Cox," 107, 181 
" Dandy Marx," 445 
Da Ponte, Lorenzo, 277 
Darcy, E. A., 282 
Dart, 159 
Davenport, E. L., 421 



556 



INDEX 



Davenport, Mrs. J. M.,4O4 

David Street, 237 

Davis, A. J.,239 

Davis, Charles A., 244 

Davis, Gilbert, 331 

Davis, Thomas E., 321 

Day, Benjamin H., 274 

Dayton, Abram C., 92, 232 

*' Dead Rabbits," 309 

Deaf and Dumb Asylum, 121 

Deaf and Dumb Institute, 502, 543 

Dean, John, 514 

Dean, Julia, 432 

Debt, Imprisonment for, Abol- 
ished, 134 

Debtors' Prison, 26 

De Cousse, 61 

De Haven, Lieutenant, U. S. N., 
460 

De Kay, Dr., 267 

Delacroix, 122 

Delafield, Joseph, 255 

Delancy Street Slip, 6 

Delmonico and Brothers, 229, 346, 
500 

Delmonico, John, 395 

Delmonico, Lorenzo, 395 

Delmonico's, 524 

Democratic Meeting, 353 

Democratic Party, 416 

Democratic Procession, 414 

Democrats, 101, 227, 231 

Department of Charities and Cor- 
rections, 456 

Department of Docks, 7 

Depau, Louis, 423 

Depau Row, 521 

Deposits, United States, Removal 
of, 279, 286, 310 

Depreciation of Stocks, etc., 390 

DeRham, H. C., 459 

Despatch Line to Philadelphia, 239 

Devlin, Miss, 516 

Devoe. Thomas F., 115, 135 

De Witt, Simon, 27 

Dey Street, 467 

" Diamond Wedding," 524 

Dickens, Charles, 276, 376 381- 
385 

Dickens' Dinner and Ball, 382 

Dickens' Works, 339 

*' Dickey Riker," 32 

Dingier, 401 



Dining-room, 57, 70 

Dinner Hour, 458, 542 

Directory, First, 182 

Directory, Longworth's City, 86 

" Dirty Lane," 12 

Disbrow, Levi, 217 

Disinterment of a Female, 439 

Dispensary, New York, 182 

Dix, Rev. Dr. Morgan, 12 

Doane, Bishop, 269 

Docks, 7 

Dodge, Misses, 303 

Dodge's, 541 

" Dogberrys," 195 

Domestic Labor, 66, 69 

" Domestic Life of Americans," 
276 

Domestic Preserves, 70 

Domestic Sailing Packets, 243 

Dominy, Mrs., 251 

Don Quixote, 139 

Door Bells, 164 

Door Plates, 66 

Doors, Locking of, 66 

Dorr, Thomas W., 386 

Douglass, Frederick, 455 

Douglass, George, 349 

Downing, A. J., 465 

Downing, Major Jack, 244 

Downing, Thomas, 171, 181 

" Dragon," 195 

Drake, Jos. Rodman, 104 

Drama, Legitimate, 54 

Dramatic Line, 322 

Draper, Simeon, 288 

Dread, Ferry Boat, 85 

Dreadnought, 493, 521 

Dredging of Slips, 137 

Drew, Daniel, 169, 257, 484 

Drew, Mrs. John, 229 

Drinks, Price of, 57 

Drive for Gentlemen, 61 

Drowning of a Family, 196 

Dry Dock Bank, 324 

Dry-goods Merchants' Association, 

426 

Dry-goods Stores, 53 
Diiane Street, 494 
Duane Street Market, 27 
Duel at Weehawken, 222 
Duelling Ground, 223 
Duel of General Andrew Jackson, 
235 






INDEX 



557 



Duels of Benjamin and Stephen 
Price, 347 

Duer, John, 408 

Duff, Mrs., 147 

Dugro, Anthony, 542 

Duke of Calibretto, 538 

Duke of Newcastle, 530 

" Duke's House, The," 538 

Dundas, Colonel, 300 

Dunham, David, 129, 140 

Dunlap, Thomas, 34 

Dunscomb, E., 237 

Dustan, Captain J. K. , 429 

Dutch Churches, 200, 212 

Dutch Houses, 13, 164 

Dutch Reformed Church, " Mid- 
dle," 209, 212, 343 

Duties, Extension of Payment of, 

307 

Dwarf, 218 
Dwellings, Security of, 66 

Eagle, 298 

Earth-works, Revolutionary, 3 

East Broadway, 101, 254 

Easter Bonnets, 104 

Easter Day, 103, 213 

Easter Eggs, 104 

Eastern Mail, 44 

Easter Sunday, 523 

Easton Stage Office, 43 

East River, Crossing on Ice, 119, 

262 

East Side Roughs, 348 
Eckford, Henry, 102, no, 157, 

189, 224, 258, 265 
Eckford, Henry, Estate of, 341 
Eckford, John, 341 
" Eclipse," American, 387 
Edgar, Mrs., 289 
Edgar, William, 423 
Editor, Cowhiding of, 465 
Edmonds, Judge, 434 
Edward Quesnel, 139 
Edwards, Colonel Monroe, 387 
Edwards, Judge, 189, 316, 388,420 
Eglise du St. Esprit, 213 
Egyptian Mummy, 153 
Eighth Avenue Railroad, 501 
" Elbow Street," 12 
Eldridge, Captain, 501 
Eldridge, Lieut., U. S.' A., 84 
Election Rioting, 288 



Eleventh Street, 311 

Elgin Estate, 176 

Elite, Fancy Ball, 237 

Elizabethtown Stage Office, 43 

Ellis Island, 287 

Elm Park, 22 

Elssler, Fanny, 350, 372, 411 

Elysian Fields, 163, 253, 255, 

422 

Emmett, "Dan," 446 
Emmett, Judge, 455 
Emmett, Robert M., 377, 388 
Emmett, Thomas Addis, 189, 

226 

Empire, 420, 455 
Employers, 73 
" Emporiums," 57 
Engraved Door Plates, 66 
Enquirer, The, 224, 411 
Envelopes, Letter, 44 
Episcopal Charity School, 199 
Episcopal Churches, 197, 199, 

212, 282, 308 
Episcopal Convention, 405 
Ericsson, Captain John, 345, 367, 

405, 408 
Erie Canal, Opening of, etc., 87, 

172, 431 

Essex Market, 90 
Etna, Bursting of Boiler of, 153 
European Travel, 44, 544 
Euterpean Hall, 328 
Evacuation, British, 3 
Evacuation, Centennial Annivers- 
ary of, 65 

Evacuation Day, 62, 65, 150 
Evarts, Wm. M., 388 
Evening Amusements, 126 
Evening Post, 47, 224, 234, 255, 

300, 385 

Evening Star, 294 
Evening Visiting, 69 
Exchange, 29, 72 
" Exchange Alley," 12 
Exchange Bank, 49, 183 
Exchange on Bank-notes, 386 
Exchange Place, 12, 31, 186. 226, 

264, 302 

Exchange Street, 226 
Excise, Board of, 504 
Excise Law, 525 
Expenditures and Receipts of City, 

101 



558 



INDEX 



Expresses, 54 

Expresses of Journals, 401 

" Extras," 54, 108 

Eyeglasses, 54 

Failure of Banks in Jersey City, 83 

Failures, 326 

Fairy Queen, 218 

Falcon, 513 

Fallon, Mr., 289 

False Collars,, 148 

Fancy Ball, Elite, 237 

Fare Boxes, 540 

Fare of Cabs, 367 

Fargis, Henry, 440 

Farm Hand, 180 

Farragut, Statue of, 165 

41 Fashion," 387, 421 

Fayette Street, 180 

Fay, Theodore S., 312 

Federalists, 101 

Feitner Lane, 10 

Female Cashiers, 524 

Fences, Park and Battery, 34 

Fenian Brotherhood, 505 

Ferries, 37, 39 

Ferries, Number of, 39 

Ferris, Charles G., 412 

Ferry Fares, 39 

Ferry, South, 221 

Ferry to Hoboken, 113 

Fete at Castle Garden, 154 

Fickett, S. & F., 237 

Fickett & Thomes, 237 

Field, Cyrus W., 493, 517 

Fifth Avenue, 108 

Fifth Avenue Grading, 479 

Fifth Avenue Hotel, 365, 518 

Fifth Ward Hotel, 469 

Figure-head, Removal of, 303 

Fillmore, President M., 470 

Finance Department, 452 

Financial Distress, 370, 505, 531 

" Finish, The," 235 

Finlay, J. Beekman, 472 

Fire Alarm, 536 

Fire Alarm Bell, 264, 286, 477 

Fire and Marine Insurance Com- 
pany, 49 

Fire Buckets, 417, 536 

Fire Department, 145, 391, 452, 
.530, 535, 536 

Fire Department, Display of, 113 



" Fire-eater," 279 
Fire-engines, 498, 532, 535, 536 
Fire-engines, New York and 

Philadelphia, 294 
Fire-engines Nos. 8 and 25, 150 
Fire-engines, Running of, 119 
Fire in Front Street, 344 
Fire in Fulton, South, and Front 

Streets, 119 

Fire in Fulton Street, 298 
Fire in Houston and First Streets, 

313 
Fire in Spring, Sullivan, and 

Thompson Streets, 166 
Fire Island, 152 
Firemen, 43, 497 
Firemen's Monument Association, 

441 

Firemen's Parade, 29 
Fires, 444 

Fires, In Case of, 32 
Fires, Three Extensive, 256 
Firewood, Scarcity of, 40 
Fireworks, 545 
Firing of Buildings, 241 
Fish, Colonel Nicholas, 154, 274 
Fisher, Clara, 52, 220, 496 
Fish, Hamilton, 295 
Fishing Banks, 412 
Fish in the Rivers, 48 
Fish Market, 278 
Fish & Grinnell, 139, 344 
Fisk & Gould, 484 
Fitzroy Road, 9 
" Five Mile House," 541 
Five Points House of Industry, 

493 
"Five Points" Mission, 84. 376, 

465 , 486 

" Five Points Riot," 298, 510 
" Flat and Barrack Hill," 12 
Floating Fire-engine, 85 
Floating Light, 131, 147 
Floating Theatre, 419 
Flogobombos , 240 
" Flora Temple," 283, 411 
Florence, Mrs. Wm. J., 442 
Florists, 104, 285 
Flour, Per Barrel, 114 
Flour Riot, 326 

Flowers in City Hall Park, 134 
Fly Market, 27, 114, 119, 138, 

I4i, 295 






INDEX 



559 



Flynn, Mrs., 412 

Flynn, Thomas, 322 

Flynn & Willard, 344 

Foley, Mr., 261 

Food for the Poor, 505 

Football and the " Hollow," 81, 

82, 116 

Foot Stoves, 116 
Forbes, Messrs., 425 
Foreign Postal Arrangements, 44 
Foreign Steamer, Boarding of, 402 
Forrest, Edwin, 52, 186, 230, 

232, 241, 259, 290, 331, 452, 

461, 474, 479 

Forsyth, Lieut.-Col., U. S. A., 84 
Fort Clinton, 18, 530 
Fort George, 154 
Fort Lee, 253 
"' Forty-niners," 450 
" Forty Thieves," 487 
Foster, Stephen C., 447 
Fountains in Union Square and 

City Hall Park, 392 
"' Four-Cent Man," 477 
Fourier, Charles, 407 
"" Fourierites," 410 
Fourteenth Ward, 218 
Fourth Avenue, 324 
Fourth Avenue Railroad Tunnel, 

331 

Fourth of July, 62, 98, 150, 544 
Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue 

Opened, 90 
Fox, Caroline, 319 
Fox, C. K. & G. L., 489 
Fox Family and Sisters, 445 
Fox, Geo. L., 517 
Fox, Killing of, 118 
Fox & Livingston, 133 
Fracas at Cato's, 313 
Fracas at Washington Hall, 313 
Fractional Currency, 57 
Francis, Dr. James R., 298 
Francis, Joseph, 415 
Franconi's Hippodrome, 487 
Franklin Bank, 193 
Franklin House, 28, 225 
Franklin, Lady, 529 
Franklin Market, 27, 130, 295 
Franklin, Morris, 409 
Franklin, Sir John, 460, 529 
Franklin Square, 86 
Franklin Street, 78, 272 



Franklin, Thomas, 113 

Freeborn, Pilot, 426 

Free Enquirer, The, 236 

Frelinghuysen, 414 

French Benevolent Society, 194 

French Church, 213, 343 

French Opera, 231 

French Opera Company, 231 

French Spoliation, 303 

French Tanyards, 223 

Friends' Meeting-houses, 210 

Frost in July, 78 

Fruits, 54 

Fuel, 65, 96 

Fulton, 43 

Fulton Ferryboats, 39 

Fulton Market, 119, 125 

Fulton, Robert, 54, 105, 241 

Fulton Street, 285, 288 

Fulton, U. S. S. Frigate, 240, 342, 

390 

Fur Caps, 181 
Furnaces, 65 

Gallatin, Albert, 255, 412, 456 

Gambling, 103 

Game, 61, 108, 228, 237 

Game and Sportsmen, 108 

Gannon, Mary, 295 

Gansevoort Street, 9 

Garcia, Signorina, 175 

Garcia Troupe, 174 

Garden Street, 12, 186 

Garden Street Free School, 203 

Gardiner, Daniel, 408 

Garrison, 411 

Gas, First in a Theatre, 191 

Gas, Illuminating, 54, 66, 138, 
1 66 

Gas Lamp, Street, 523 

Gas Pipes, Laying of, 161, 168 

Gedney, Lieut., U. S. N., 342 

General Bankrupt Law, 385 

General Jackson, 256 

General Theological Seminary, 
190, 261 

Genet, Pauline, 502 

Gentlemen, 54 

Gentlemen and Ladies' Dining- 
rooms, 57 

Gentlemen's Dress, 75 

German Opera, 502 

German Orchestra, 444 



560 



INDEX 



German Reformed Church, 201 
Germans, 91, 379 
Gerry, James, 61 
Gibbons, Mr. (the elder), 54 
Gibbons, William, 170, 240, 421 
Gibbs, Mr., 17 
Gihon, John, 273 
Gilbert, John, 341, 457 
Gilbert, or Balance, Dock, 404 
"Gil Bias," 383 
Gilfert, Charles, 191, 230 
Gilfert, Mrs. , 230 
Gilford, Samuel, 308 
Gillingham, Miss Ellen, 74 
Gilman, Win. C., 401 
Gimcrack, 413 

" Gingerbread Man," 321, 466 
Ginger Pop, 58 
"Gin Mill," 235 
Glass Furnace, II 
Glass House Point, n, 152 
Glazier, Geo. G., 391 
Glenn, Anthony, 249 
Glentworth, I. B., 379 
Glidden, George R., 330, 389 
Glover, Messrs., 367 
Glue Factory, 15 
Goatees and Beards, 69 
Godwin, Parke, 410, 486 
Goodwin, Robert M., 104 
Goelet, Peter, 418 
Gold, Discovery of, 443 
Golden Hill, i, 2 
Gold Street, 2, 285 
Goodhue & Co., 44, 286, 322 
Good Shepherd, House of, 521 
Gothic Hall, 1 88 
Gough, John B., 425 
Gould and Fisk, 484 
Gouverneur Market, 27 
Gouverneur, Samuel L., 249, 257 
Governor's Island, 18 
Governors of Almshouse, Board 
^of, 542 

Gowanus Bay, 17, 303 
Grace Church, 425, 426 
Gracie House, 109 
Gracie, William, 308 
Graham, 436 
Graham, Bernard, 179 
Graham, Charles, 349 
Graham, David, 377, 420 
Graham, Wm. G., Duel of, 223 



Gramercy Park, 15, 366, 426 

Grand Island, 173 

Grand Krout, 278 

Grand Market Place, 27 

Grand Street Ferry, 39 

Grand Street Slip, 6 

Granger, Francis, 187 

Granite Balls, 218 

Grapeshot^ 499 

Great Britain, 424 

Great Eastern, 529 

Great Fire of December, 1835, 306 

Great Fire of 1845, 423 

Great Gale, 140, 426 

Great Kill Road, 9, 10 

Greek Ball, 150, 215 

"Greek Committee," 216 

Greek Fund Ball, 215 

Greeley, H., & Co., 349 

Greeley, Horace, 275, 331, 368, 

407, 410, 415, 442 
Green, Duff, 244 
Green, John C., 91 
Greenport, 542 
Greenwich Lane, 10 
Greenwich Market, 27, 296 
Greenwich Savings Bank, 273, 327 
Greenwich Stages, 39 
Greenwich Street Theatre, 50 
Greenwich Theatre, 431 
Greenwich Village, 6 
Griffin, George, 321 
Grinnell, Henry, 460, 485 
Grinnell, Minturn & Co., 148, 

427, 445, 471 
Grinnell, Moses H., 273 
Griscom, Dr. John, 165 
Grisi, 494 

Grisi and Mario, 185 
Griswold, John, 139 
Griswold, N. L. & G., 470, 471 
Grocers and Auctioneers, 121 
Grocery Stores, 61 
Grouse, Shooting of, 261 
Grove Street, 237, 311 
Guerin, Francis, 53 
Guille, Ascension of, 103 
Gulick, James, 313, 314 
Gunther, C. Godfrey, 542 

Hackensack, 538 

Hackett, James H., 92, 185, 186, 
233, 240, 278, 354, 494 



INDEX 



5 6i 



Hackett, Mrs. James H., 174, 

185 

Hack Fares, 215 
Hacks, Lighting of, 185 
Haggerty, John, 312 
Hair-cutting, Anatomical, 57 
Hale & Halleck, 224 
Hale, James W., 330 
Hale, Nathan, 3, 4, 22 
Hall, Alderman, 267 
Hall, A. Oakey, 504 
Hall, Charles, 167 
Hall, Charles Henry, 242 
Halleck, FitzGreene, 170, 262, 298, 

457 

Hallett's Point, 30, 34 
Hall, Francis, 47 
Hall, J. Prescott, 398 
Hall of Records or Old Jail, 26, 

264 

Hall's (Asa) Stages, 39, 229, 539 
Hall Stoves and Furnaces, 65, 116 
Hamblin, Mrs., 319 
Hamblin, Thomas S., 173, 191, 

246, 290, 319, 323, 325, 341, 

442, 444, 454. 457, 487, 534, 

Hamburg- American Packet Co., 

435 
Hamilton, Gen. Alexander, 223, 

320 

Hamilton House, 264 
Hamilton, John C., 214 
Hamilton, " Nigger," 490-492 
Hamilton Square, 180 
Hamilton Street, 220 
Hand-bills, Inflammatory, 316 
Hand Organs, 113 
Hankins' Barroom, 28 
Hanover Street, 264 
Hansoms, 54 
Harbor Police, 480 
Hard Cider, 349 
" Hard Shells," 543 
Harlem, 6, 14, 269, 459 
Harlem Bridge, 7 
Harlem Canal, 188, 231 
Harlem Creek, 16 
Harlem, First Pavement of a 

Street, 269 
Harlem Lane, 8, 10 
Harlem Road, 9 
Harlem R. R., 441, 518 



Harlem Stage, 39 
Harmonical Society, 465 
Harmon Street, 13, 101, 254 
Harmony, Peter & Co., 179 
Harnden, William F., 330 
Harpendingh, John, 2 
Harper & Brothers, 86, 100, 492 
Harper, Fletcher, 418, 419 
Harper, James, 340, 401, 409, 420 
Harpers, John and James, 86, 100 
Harrington, George Christy, 446 
Harrington, William (" Bill "), 98, 

270, 355 

Harris, Arnold, 448 
Harris, Captain, 159 
Harrison, General William H., 

332, 342, 349, 370 
Harsen, Jacob, 283 
Harsen Road, 10 
Harsen's, Jacob, House, 325 
Harsenville, 6 
Hart & Co., Eli, 326 
Hatfield, Alderman, 378, 387 
Havana Opera Company, 438, 462: 
Havemeyer, William F., 418, 420, 

431, 450 
Havre Line of Packets, 133, 148, 

227, 269 

Hawk and Buzzard, 293 
Hays, Jacob, 31, 316, 324 
"Hazard's," 541 
Hazard, Samuel, 102 
Head over Window in Walton 

House, 380 

Hecksher, Charles A., 273 
" Hector," 215 
Hegeman, 336 
Hell Gate, 30, 124, 480 
Hell Gate Ferry, 430 
Hell Gate Lane, 8 
" Hell's Kitchen," 309 
Hendricks, Harmon, 214 
Henry, Chauncey, 441 
Henry Clay, 427, 479 
Henry Street, 221, 237 
Henshaw, Caroline, 377 
Herald Building, 152, 160 
Herald, The, 224, 295, 312, 348, 

376, 385, 399, 406, 411, 4*5> 

418, 419, 421 
Hermann, 448 
Herrick & Co., S. H., 326 
Herring, Fanny, 517 



5 62 



INDEX 



Herring Street, 237 

Herschell, Sir J. F. W., 304 

Hester Street, 166 

Hewlett (colored), 185 

Hey ward, Mr., 373 

*' Hicksites," 225 

Hicksville, 542 

Higbee, Rev. Dr. E. Y., 213 

Highlander, 433 

Hill, George H., 259 

Hilson, Thomas, 147 

Himes, Joshua V., 281 

Hippodrome, Franconi's, 365 

Hoar, Senator, 483 

Hoboken, 133 

Hoboken, 253, 538 

Hoe, Richard M., 296 

Hoey, Mrs. John, 371 

Hoffman, Charles Fenno, 221, 

271, 298 

Hoffman, Murray, 189 
Hoffman, Rev. Dr. E. A., 190 
Hogg, Thomas, 285 
Hogs in the Streets, 86, 130 
Hohenlohe, Rev. Prince, 163 
Holland, George, 221 
41 Hollow "at the Battery, 81 
Holman, Mrs., 125 
Holt, Mrs., 275 
Holt, Stephen, 275 
41 Holy Light," 211 
*' Home," 541 
Home Comforts, 69 
Home Life, 542 
Hook and Ladders, Fire-engines, 

Hose-carts, 150 
Hope, Frigate, 157 
Hopkins, Bishop, 269 
Horn, Charles E., 223 
Home, Dr., 458 
Horseback Riding, 90 
Horse Boats, 39, 84 
Horse Market, 87 
Horse-race Challenge, 140 
Horse Stables, 521-522 
Hosack, Dr. David, 176, 228, 308 
Hoskin, Capt. (Lieut. R. N.), 335, 

406, 415 

Hospital, New York, 29 
Hotels, Principal, 28, 224 
Hours of Labor, 466 
House of Refuge, 165, 336, 493 
Houses, Dwellings, 34, 323 



Housman, Mrs., 420 

Howard, Cordelia, 489, 493 

Howard, Harry, 516 

Howard, Mr. and Mrs. C. C., 489 

Howard Street, 166 

Howard, White, 195 

Howland & Aspinwall, 428, 470 

Rowland, G. G. & S. S., 157 

Howland, S. S., 273 

Hewlett & Saul, 480 

Hoxie, Joseph, 319 

Hoyt, Gould, 273 

Hoyt, Jesse, 403 

Hudson River Line, 167 

Hume, David D., 445 

" Hunkers," 543 

Hyer, " Tom," 355 

" Hypnotism," 467 

Ice, 59 

Ice Blockade of the River, 40 
Ice-boxes, 339 

Ice Cream and Water Ices, 59 
Illuminating Gas, 54, 166, 191 
Illumination in Theatres, 333 
Illustrated Papers, 54 
Immigrant Depot, 498 
Imprisonment for Debt, 73, 134 
Indemnity Bill, 303 
Independence, 427 
India, Advices from, 91 
India-rubber Overshoes, 244 
Ingraham, Daniel P., 179 
Inman Line, 460 
Inspectors of Election, 34 
Installation of Mayor, 288 
Institute for the Blind, 339 
Insurance Companies, Failure of, 

183 
Insurance Companies, Fire and 

Marine, 49 

^Interment of Human Bodies, 138 
Irish, 379 
Irish Famine, 432 
Irving, Washington, 236, 266, 295, 

383, 468, 474 
Isabella Grapevine, 17 
Isherwood, Mrs., 451 
Island of Manhattan, 221 
" Islands, The," 194 
Italian Opera, 494 

Jackson, Daniel, 349 
Jackson, " Moccasin," 132 






INDEX 



563 



Jackson, Gen. Andrew, 101, 222, 
227, 231, 235, 244, 258, 274, 
279, 290, 303, 310 
" Jackson or Jackass," 310 
Jackson, Thomas M., 181, 252 
"Jacob's Well," 158 
Jaffrey, E. S. & Co., 346 
Jagger, Jehiel, 283 
"Jail Liberties," 73, 151 
Jail or Debtor's Prison, 26, 73, 264 
James Kent, 140 
Japanese Embassy, 528 
Jauncey Lane, 10, 22 
Jauncey, Miss, 22 
Jay, John C., 423 
Jay, Peter A., 189, 402 
Jefferson Insurance Co., 193 
Jefferson, Joseph, Jr., 160, 520 
Jefferson Market, 264, 285 
Jefferson, Thomas, 257 
Jennings, Chester, 92, 224 

[ennings & Co., 493 

[erome Park Association, 144 

fewett, Helen, 319 

lews' Graveyards, 211 

fews' Synagogue, 211 

"Jim Crow," 269 

Jocelyn, Lord, 300 

Jockey Club, 282 

Johanssen, Mme., 502 

Johnson, Col. 'Wai. R., 136, 143, 

145, 387 

Johnson, Miss, 123 
Johnson's Stables, 511 
Johnson's Trial and Execution, 

148, 152 

John Street, 2, 284, 311 
John Street Church, 99 
John Street Theatre, 50 
Joinville, Prince de, and Dinner, 

375 

("ones, Evan, 215 
[ones, George, 254 
[ones, John Q., 418 
[ones, Walter R., 385 
Jones' Wood, 468 
Josephs, I. L. & J. S. & Co., 321, 

326 

Judges, Appointment of, 32 
Judges of Superior and Circuit 

Court, 32 

Judson, E. Z. C. (Ned Buntline), 
454 



Julia, 499 
Jullien, Louis, 489 
Jumel, Mme., 278 
Jumel, Stephen, 274 
Juvenile Delinquents, 165 

Kamschatka, 397 

Kane, Elisha K., 486 

Kean, Charles, 52, 245, 320, 343, 

496 

Kean, Edmund, 52, 114, 174 
Kearney, Commodore Lawrence, 

U. S. N., 131 

Kearney, Philip, U. S. A., 436 
Keene, Laura, 495, 517, 520 
Keene's, Laura, Varieties, 495 
Kelly, Eugene, 432 
Kelly & Leon's Minstrels, 448 
Kelly, Miss, 222, 496 
Kemble, Charles, 52, 268, 496 
Kemble, Frances, 52, 232, 268, 

295, 320, 496 
Kemble, Gouverneur, 30 
Kennedy House, 55 
Kennedy, Robert L., 91 
Kennon, Captain Beverly, U. S. 

N., 408 

" Kensington," 124, 245 
Kent, Chancellor, 439 
Kent, Judge, 387 
Kerr, George, 440 
Keying, 442 
Kill, Great, Road, 9 
Kill, Old, Road, 9 
Kill von Kull, 287 
Kindling-wood, 54 
King, Charles, no 
King, Elisha W., 308 
King, John A., 273, 506 
King & Mead, 53 
King, Mrs. John A., 30 
Kingsbridge, 49, 541 
Kingsbridge, Old, Road, 8, U 
King's College, 28 
Kingsland, A. C., 450, 468, 478 
Kipp & Brown, 234, 273, 441, 

539 

Kip's Bay, 14, 17, 21 
Kip's House, 27 
Kirk, George, 434 
Kissam, Dr., 273 
Kiss's Statue, 488 
Kite-flying, 104 



5 6 4 



INDEX 



Knickerbocker Magazine, 2JI 
Knight, Mrs., 192 
Knocker, Old-time, 400 
Knowles, James Sheridan, 290 
Korponay, 413 
Kossuth, Louis, 474 
Krout Club, 62, 278 
Kyle, Alexander, 494 

Laborers, 316 

Ladies' Dining-rooms, 57 

Ladies' Dress, 75 

Ladies' Dresses Soiled, 88 

Ladies' Home Missionary Society, 

376 

Lady, 54 

Lady Clinton, 171 
"Lady Relief," 282 
Lady Van Rensselaer, 172 
Lafarge House, 492, 495 
Lafayette, Marquis de la, 153, 172, 

289 
Lafayette Place, 192, 222, 296, 

Lafayette Theatre, 160, 173, 188, 
' 222, 239, 241 
Lagrange, Mme., 500 
Laird, Samuel, 421 
Lake Tour Road, 9 
Lambert, Daniel R., 171 
Lamp-posts, 166 
Lamps, 333 

Lane, Miss Louisa, 229 
Lanes, 7 

Lang & Turner, 47 
Lardner, Dionysius, 378 
Latta, A. B. , 497 
"Latter Day Saints," 249 
Latting Observatory, 502 
Launitz, Robert E., 441 
" Laurie Todd," 297 
Law Department, 452 
Law, George, 433, 499 
Lawrence, Abraham R., 478 
Lawrence, Captain James, U. S. 

N., 416 
Lawrence, Cornelius W., 285, 287, 

311, 349 

Lawrence, John, 283 
Lawrence, John L., 392 
Lawrence & Sneden, 237 
Lawson, James, 265 
Lead Works, no 



Leake Dole of Bread, 200 

Leake & Watts Orphan Asylum. 
263 

Leake & Watts Orphan Home, 406 

Leather Stocking Series, 130 

Lebanon Springs, 194 

Lecture Room, 160 

Leggett, Samuel, 138, 161 

Leggett, William, 102, 230, 234,. 
300 

Legislator, 170, 172 

Lee, Capt. William, 132 

Lee, Gideon, 264, 285, 301, 349, 
373 

Lee, Robert E. , 433 

Leesugg, Miss, 92 

Leland Brothers, 481 

Lenox, Robert, 344 

Lenox, James, 204 

Lent, 102, 213 

Le Roy, Bayard & Co., 157 

Leslie, Frank, 511 

Letter-bags, 44 

Letter-boxes, Drop, 54 

Letter Postages, 44 
Lewis, Gen. Morgan, 154, 255 
Lexington Avenue, 284 
Lexington Burned, 346 
Liberator, Frigate, 157 

" Liberty Boys," 2 

Liberty Pole, 294 

Liberty Street, 224, 294, 478 

Licensing of Brothels, 292 

Liederkranz, German, 437 

Life-preservers, 132 

Lighting of Theatres, Dwellings, 

etc., 333 

Light-ship at Sandy Hook, 131 
Lights, Procuring of, 66, 251 
Lilly, 390 

" Limekiln Man," 321, 426 
Lincoln, Abraham, 531 
Lind, Jenny, 18, 463-465 
Lingard, G., 489 
Lingard, Mr. and Mrs. J., 489 
Linnceus, 167 
Lispenard's Meadows, 7, 16, io8 r 

203 

Lithography, 192 
Littlefield, John, 490 
Little Water Street, 264 
Liverpool and Havre Packets, 
Tonnage of, 139 






INDEX 



565 



Liverpool, New York & Philadel- 
phia Steamship Co., 460 
Liverpool Packet, Loss of, 132 
Liverpool Packets, 45, 286, 335, 

437 

Liverpool Passages, 90, 286 
Liverpool to Boston, Passages of, 

381 

Livingston, Chancellor, 256 
Livingston House, 55 
Livingston, Mortimer, 273 
Livingston, Robert R., 108, 241 
Livonia, 473 
Lize, 271, 355 
Local Travel, 36 
Locke, Richard A., 303 
*' Loco Foco's," 312 
*' Loco Foco " Party, 301, 312 
Locomotive, First, 240, 253 
Log Cabin, 349 
Lombardy Street, 254 
London and Liverpool Packets, 

139, 237, 411 

Long Island Railroad, 413, 542 
Long Island Sound Closed, 90, 

312 

Long, James, 387 
Looking-glass Curtain, 147 
Lookout Station, 47 
Lorillard, George, 403 
Lorillard, Jacob, 403 
Lorillard, Peter, 169, 202, 403 
Lotteries, 112, 121, 275 
Lots, Sale of, 390 
Lovejoy's, 62 

" Love Lane," 8, 10, 61, 190 
Lover, Samuel, 438 
Lovett, John, 28 
Low, A. A. & Brother, 470 
Low's Lane, 10 
Luce, Capt. S. B., 495 
Ludlow, Dr. , 290 
Ludlow, Lieut., U. S. N., 84 
Lutheran Church, 100, 202 
Lynch, Dominick, 178, 328 
Lynch, James, 542 
Lynch, Lieut., 385, 390 
Lynch, Mrs., 34 
Lynde, 171 

Mackenzie, Comd'r A. S., U. S. 

^, 397-398 
Mackenzie, W. L., 425 



" Mackerelville," 309 
Macomb, Maj.-Gen., 121, 394 
Macomb's Dam, 78-79, 115, 333 
Macready, Wm. C., 190, 442,452, 

455 
Madison Square, 7, 1-4, 138. 165, 

336, 410, 416 

Madison Square Church, 487 
Madison Street, 13 
Maeder, Mrs., 52, 220, 328 
Maiden Lane, 138, 215, 311 
Maiden Lane Slip, 6 
Mail Coaches, 43 
Maillefert, 481 
Mail Stage, Overturning of, 113, 

126 

Mail Steamers, U. S., 448 
" Maine Law," 525 
Malapar, Antoine, 193 
Malibran, Eugene, 175, 222 
Malibran, Mme., 175, 191, 215, 

222 

Man, 59, 75 

Manhattan Bank, 36, 49, 90 

Manhattan Co., 36 

Manhattan Co., Capacity of, 140 

Manhattan Gas Light Co., 252 

Manhattan Island, 6, 221 

Manhattan Market, 221 

Manhattan Reservoir, 37 

Manhattanville, 6, 459 

Manhattan Water, 337 

Manicure, 490 

Man Millinery, 263 

Manning, John, 30 

Mansion House, 121, 224, 394 

Manumission Society, 78 

Map, Commissioners of the City, 
ii 

Maple Sugar, 108 

Map of New York of 1785, 507 

Marble, Danforth, 254 

Marble Houses, 179 

Marble Manufacturing Co., 193 

Marcellus, Rev. Mr., 135 

Marco Bozzaris, 183 

Marcy, Wm. L., 499 

Maretzek, Max, 439, 462, 465, 
489, 500 

Marine and Fire Insurance Com- 
panies. 49 

Marine Hospital, 513 

Marine Journal, 278 



5 66 



INDEX 



Marine Pavilion at Rockaway, 273 

Marine Railway, 151, 291 

Mariners' Church, 211 

Marine Telegraph, 218 

Mario, 494 

Mario and Grisi, 185 

Marion Street Theatre (colored), 
162 

Market Butchers, 378 

Marketfield Street, 243 

Marketing, 61, 325, 386 

Marketing, Prices of, 96 

Market Laws, 378 

Market Quotations, 385 

Markets, 27, 378 

Market Slip, 6 

Markets, Number of, 285 

Market Street, 6, 254 

Marquand, F., 139 

Marshall, Benjamin, 44 

Marshall, Charles H. & Co., 44, 
322, 454 

Marshall, John, 539-540 

Marshall, Miss Polly, 517 

Marshall, Thos. F., 388, 396 

Marsh, Henry, 154 

Martineau, Miss Harriet, 317 

Marx, Henry C., 441 

Masked and Fancy Ball, 237, 406 

Masonic Hall, 186, 188 
Masonic Lodges, 188 
Mason, James, 232 
Mason, Mrs., 52 
Mason, Rev. Dr., 245 
Masons, Free, 188 
Massachusetts, 381, 425 
"Massacre Place " Opera House, 

454 

Masseurs, 490 
Matches, 251 
Matilda, Barge, 172 
Matinee, First, 220 
Matsell, Geo. W., 423, 506-509 
Matthews, Charles, 136, 338, 496 
Matthews, J. M., D. D., 255 
Matthews, Mrs., 338 
Maxcy, Virgil, 408 
Maxwell, Capt., 171 
Maxwell, Hugh, 189, 224 
Maxwell, Win., 223 
Mayoralty Election, First, 287 
Mayor, Appointment of, 138 
Mayor, Election of, 32 



Mayor, Installation of, 288 

McCaffrey, Dr., 298 

McClintock, 529 

McCoskry, Bishop, 428 

McCoun, Wm. T. t 124 

McCoy, 390 

McElrath, Thomas, 349 

McEvers, Bache, 214 

McGowan's Pass, n, 182, 268 

Mcllvaine, Bishop, 269 

McKay, Donald, 471 

Me Kim, 407 

McKim, William, 282 

McLaughlin, " Paudeen," 498^ 

McLeod, Rev. John N., 27 

McLeod, Wm. E., 223, 236 

McNeven, Dr. Wm. J., 372 

McQueen, Robert, 53 

Mead, etc., 58 

Meadowbank, Lord, 137 

Meals, Hours of, 70 

Meats and Fish, 386 

Mechanics and Tradesmen, Gen- 
eral Society of, 502 
Mechanics' Bank, 49 
Mechanics' Hall, 446 
Mediums, 445 
Meerschaum, 544 
Meeting in City Hall Park, 286, 

299 
Meeting in Tammany Hall, 249, 

418 

Meeting in the Exchange, 286 
Meeting of Merchants, 239, 266, 

286, 326 

Meeting of Workmen. 325 
Melchior, James C., 166 
Men's and Boys' Clothing, 74, 181 
Men's Dress, 74-76, 148 
Mercantile Advertiser, 47 
Mercantile Library, 118, 476, 493 
Merchandise, Transportation of to 

Pittsburgh, 134 
Merchants' Bank, 49, 274 
Merchants' Exchange, 44, 13 i, 

138, 166, 186, 218, 226, 375 
Merchants' Express Co., 212 
Merchants' Telegraph, 233 
Merchant Tailors, 57, 77 
Mermaid, 400 
Mesier, Peter A., 439 
" Mesmerism," 467 
Messenger Boys, 54 






INDEX 



567 



Mestayer, Emily, 57 
Mestayer, H., 405 
Methodist Book Concern, 318 
Methodist Church, John Street, 99 
Methodist Episcopal Church, 206, 

376 
Metropolitan Hall, 242, 474, 481, 

492 

Metropolitan Opera House, 495 
Metropolitan Police, 511, 531 
Metropolitan Police Department, 

505, 5io 

Mexican Victories, 435 
Mexican War, 428 
Mexico, Painting of City of, 32 
Mickle, Andrew H., 418, 431 
"Middle" Reformed Dutch 

Church, 209, 415,418 
Middle Road, 7, 165 
Mileage, 442 
Milestones, 356 
Military Ball, 150 
Military Officers, Election of, 134 
Military Parade, Fourth of July, 62 
Military Reviewed, 62 
Milk, Pure, 54, 60 
Miller, Charles, 423 
" Millerite Craze," 280 
Millerites, 281 

Miller, William, 280-281, 423 
Mill Rock, 118 

Milnor, Rev. Dr. James, 212, 421 
Minell, James, 283 
Minetta Lane, 10, 15 
Minetta Stream, 10, 14 
Ming, Alexander, Jr., 300 
" Mining Companies," 450 
Mint Juleps, 192 
Minturn, Edward, 251 
Mirror, Weekly, 139 
Mississippi, U. S. Frigate, 475 
Missouri, U. S. Frigate, 390 
Mitchell, Samuel L'., M. D., 126, 

172, 240, 259 
Mitchell's Olympic Theatre, 221, 

345 

Mitchell, William, 322 
" Mock Auctions," 393, 395 
Mohawk and Hudson River Rail- 
road, 257 

Moloney, P. G., 542 
Monk, Maria, 312 
M on mouth, 43 



Monnot, J. B., 437 

Monplaisir, Mme., 444 

Monroe, Ex-President, 249, 257 

Monroe, James, 249 

Monroe Market, 311 

Monroe Street, 254 

Montague Garden, 50 

Montez, Lola, 476 

Montgomery, General Richard, 

100 

Montgomery, Mrs., 100 
Monument Lane, 10 
"Moon Hoax," 305 
Moore, Clement C., 190, 262, 341 
Moore, Rt. Rev. Benjamin, 82,. 

191, 246, 262 
Moravian Church, 21 1 
Morgan, E. D., 471 
Morgan, E. E. & Sons, 330 
Morgan Line, 493 
Morgan, William, 187 
Mormons, Book of, 249 
Morning Courier, 265 
Morning Courier and New York 

Enquirer, 240 
Morning Herald, 295 
Morning Post, The, 275 
Morris, 436 

Morris Brothers' Minstrels, 448 
Morris Canal Stock, 293 
Morris, Captain Charles, U. S. N. 

172 

Morris, George P., 139, 186, 392 
Morris, Gouverneur, 27 
Morrison, John C., 152 
Morris, Robert H., 373, 381, 401 
Morris, Roger, Home, 274 
Morrissey, John, 355 
Morris Street, 237 
Morse, Richard C., 113 
Morse, Samuel F. B., 296, 372,. 

402 

Morse, Sidney E., 113 
Mortier, Paymaster-General, 97 
Morus Multicaulis, 297, 336 
" Mose," 271, 355 
Mott, Dr. and Mrs. Valentine,, 

126, 375 

Mott, Miss Lucretia, 374 
Mount Pitt, 14 
Mount Pitt Circus, 188, 234 
Mount Sinai Hospital, 478 - 
Mount Vernon, 124 



568 



INDEX 



Mount Washington, 194 
Moustache, 73, 330 
Mowatt Brothers, 167 
Mowatt, Mrs. AnnaC., 419, 422 
Muffs, Ladies', 75 
Muhlenberg, Dr. W. A., 430, 488 
"' Mulberry Bend," 376 
Mumford, John I., 233 
Mummy, Egyptian, 153 
Municipal Department, 487, 535 
Municipal Election, 452 
Municipal Laws, Revision of, 245 
Municipal Police, 531 
Munson, Reuben, no 
Murphy's Stables, 443 
Murray Hill, 21, 176, 291 
Murray House, 21, 291 
Murray, James, 148 
Murray, Robert, 258 
Murray's, Mrs., Madeira, 3 
Murray Street, corner Broadway, 

5 8 . 
Mutiny on Board U. S. Brig 

Sowers, 397 

Mutual Life Insurance Co., 415 
Mutuel Pools, 144 

Names of Streets, 12, 83 

Napoleon of the Turf, 143 

Nassau Street, 224 

National Advocate, 265 

National Guard, 134 

National Hotel, 225 

National Theatre, 132, 185, 232, 

278, 322, 328, 343, 371, 442, 

451, 489, 492 

Native American Party, 301, 372 
Native Americans, 393, 409 
Nautilus, 85 
Naval School, U. S., 330 
Navigation of Certain Rivers, 153 
Negroes, Status of, 181 
Negroes, Voting of, 134 
Negro Minstrels, 405 
Neill, Henry E., 412 
Nelson, Joseph, 148, 312 
Neptune, Capsizing of, 159 
Neptune Stranded, 85 
. Nevius, Jacob, 24 
New Almshouse, 26 
Newark, 43 
Newark, 255 
Newbold, George, 273 



New Brighton, 253, 321 
Newcastle, Duke of, 530 
New Constitution, 134 
New England, 277 
New England Hotel, 225 
New Jerusalem Church, 210 
New Market Course, 92 
New Philadelphian, 172, 189 
Newport, 194 
Newsboy, First, 274 
News from Europe, 44 
Newspapers, 47, 159 
Newspapers, Delivery of, 108 
Newspapers Printed by Steam 

Power, 296 

Newspaper Venders, 54 
New Street, 294 
New Year's Day, 78, 98, 150 
New York Advertiser, 244 
New York American, no 
New York and Erie Railroad, 297, 

374, 439, 445, 457, 462, 469, 
484 

New York and Harlem Railroad, 
265, 271, 284, 293, 340, 345, 
399, 412, 441, 448, 478 
New York and Liverpool Packets, 

44 

New York and New Jersey Bound- 
ary Line, 286 

New York to Philadelphia, 269 
New York and Philadelphia Fire- 
engines, 294 

New York Bible Society, 164 
New York "Bowery" Theatre, 

191 
New York Central and Hudson 

River Railroad, 243 
New York Chemical Works, 152 
New York Choral Society, 150 
New York Coffee House, 224 
New York Courier, 47 
New York Courier and Enquirer, 

265, 408 
New York Daily Express and 

Daily Advertiser, 312 
New York Dispensary, 182 
New York Dry Dock Co., 151 
New York Enquirer, 240, 265 
New York Evangelist, 271 
New York Evening Post, 47 
New York Gas Light Co., 138 
New York Gazette, 47 



INDEX 



569 



New York Herald, 295 

New York Historical Society, 331, 

339. 376, 514 
New York Hospital, 29 
New York Hotel, 179, 225, 417, 

437 

New York Institute, 83, 90, 160 
New York Lead Works, no 
New York Life and Trust Co., 

408 
New York Mirror and Ladies' 

Literary Gazette, 139, 221 
New York Observer, 113 
New York Opera Co., 277 
New York Sacred Musical Society, 

150 

New York Screw Dock Co., 232 
New York Society Library, 194, 

322, 376, 486 
New York Tea Party, I 
New York Tribune, 369 
New York Yacht Club, 413, 497 
Niblo and Sykes, 135 
" Niblo's Garden," 230, 268, 388, 

476, 516, 538 
Niblo's Stage, 238 
Niblo's (William), 114, 124, 195, 

224, 230, 242, 245, 388, 422, 

502 

Nicholson, John B., 218 
Nicoll, 401 
Night Latches, 164 
Ninth Avenue, 374 
Noah, M. M., 47, 113, 173, 223, 

240, 265, 294, 386 
Noah's National Advocate, 265 
" Nolan's," 541 

Nomination of State and City Of- 
ficers, 32-33, 391 
North America, 274 
North and East Rivers Crossed on 

Ice, 312 

"North" Dutch Church, 2, 272 
Northern Hotel, 28, 225 
Northern Mail, 134 
Northern Route, 346 
North River Bank Chartered, 121 
North River Bulkheads, 1 7 
North River Closed by Ice, 119 
North River Steamboat Co., 84, 

in 

North Street (Houston), 17, 272 
Notable Events, 78 



Nott, Dr. Eliphalet, 150, 320 

Novelty, 320 

Numbers in Wall Street, 49 

Oak Street, 13 

Obelisk Lane, 10 

Ocean Steamship Co., 102 

O'Connell, Guard, 298 

O'Conor, Charles, 324 

Office Furnishing, etc., 71 

Officers, Election of, 32 

Offices in Wall Street, 163 

Offices, Rent of, 163 

Offices, State and Charter, 1 10 

Ogden, Abraham, 429 

Ogden, Gouverneur, 240 

Ogden, Thomas L., 415 

Ogle, " Gold Spoons," 332 

Ohio, Launching of, 113, 258 

Ohio Life and Trust Co., 512 

Old Boston Road, 291 

" Old Brewery," 376, 486 

Old Dominion Steamship Co., 461 

" Old Hays," 224, 261 

"Old Hickory," 231 

" Old Hunkers," 416 

"Old Kill" Road, 9 

Old Merchants of New York, 179 

"Old Faff," 87 

Old Slip, 6 

Old Slip Market, 27 

Old Stone House at Turtle Bay, 

137 

Olive Branch, 153 
Oliver Ellsworth, 216 
Oliver, Isaac J., 542 
Oliver, James D., 96, 150 
Oliver Street, 13, 180 
Olmstead, Frederick L., 469, 513 
Olympic Circus, West's, 401 
Olympic Theatre, 221, 322, 328, 

345, 425, 440, 442 
Omnibuses, 528 
Onderdonk, Bishop Benj. T., 212, 

246, 408, 483 

One Cent Paper, First, 274 
On-ka-hy-e, 351 
Opera, 150 
Oranges, 54 
Orange Street, 324 
Ordinances, City, 180 
Ordronaux, John, 525 
Oregon, 433 



57 



INDEX 



Organ Grinders, 54 

Orphan Asylum Society, 465 

Orphans' Home and Asylum, 514 

Orthodox Quakers, 225 

Overcoats, 109 

Owen, Robert Dale, 236 

Owens, John L., 465 

Oyster Cellar, 296 

Oyster, Shaving, and Billiard 

Parlors, 57 
Ox, Wonderful, 218 

Paaf, M. ("OldPaff"), 87 

Paas, 104, 410 

Pacific, 449, 451, 460, 462, 501, 

5i6 
Pacific Mail Steamship Co., 441, 

450 

Packet Ships, 227, 262 
Pacolin, Onesippe, 192 
Paisley Place, 136 
Palmipedes, 240 
Palmo, F., 407 
Palmo's Opera House, 268, 438, 

444 

Panama, 450 

" Paradise and the Peri," 441 
Paris Fashions, 175 
Parish, Henry, 273 
Park and Battery Fences, 34, 126, 

133 

Parker Vein Coal Co., 494 
Parkhurst, Rev. C. H., 487 
Park, Madison Square, 7 
Park Place, 496, 533 
Park Place Hotel, 28, 225 
Park, Planting of Rosebushes, 

134 
Park Railing and Granite Balls, 

126, 133 
Park Row, 93 
Park Theatre, 50, 52, no, 114, 

122, 136, 150, 239, 260, 331, 

347, 354, 393, 399~4Oi, 405, 

419, 444, 491, 496, 535 
Park Theatre Riot, 260 
Parodi, Teresa, 465, 504 
Passage from Boston, 422 
Passage from Philadelphia, 168 
Passages, Liverpool to Boston, 381 
Passages to Liverpool, 335 
Passage to Providence, 269 
Patchogue, Drive to, 162 



Patriotic Dame, 18 

Patti, Adelina, 438, 476, 490 

Patti-Strakosch, 489 

Paulding, James K., 236 

Paulding, Wm., 138, 165, 183, 
197, 214, 227, 245 

Paulus Hook Ferry-boats, 39, 192 

Pavement in Harlem, 269 

Paving, 34 

Payne, John Howard, 150 

Payne, Wm. H., 500 

Peabody, George, 358, 485 

" Peacemaker," 407 

Peale's Museum, 174, 218 

Pearl Street, 13, 365 

Pearl Street House, 225 

Pearsall's, 251 

Pear-tree, 433 

Pease, Lewis M., 465 

Peck, Capt., 167 

Peck Slip, 6 

Pedlar, 180 

Peekskill Route, 257 

Pell & Trowbridge, 448 

Penitentiary, 26 

Penny Post, 385 

Pentz & Co., 306 

Pepoo, Mr., 203 

Periaguas, 39 

Perry, Capt. M. C. (Commodore), 
342, 390, 432, 527 

Perry, H. A., 517 

Persia, 460, 501 

" Peter Funks," 393 

Petersfield, 76 

" Pewter Mug," 34, 227 

" Peytona," 421 

Pheasants, English, 171 

Phelps, Thaddeus, 222, 322, 344 

Phelps & Peck's Stores, 265 

Philadelphia, 330 

Philadelphia Firemen and Meet- 
ing, 307 

Philadelphia, Line to, 244 

Philadelphia, Travel to, 43, 101 

Phillips, Wendell, 411 

Phcenix, 1 08 

Phcenix Bank, 49 

Photographs, 54 

Physical Changes, 5 

Piccolomini, Marietta, 517 

Pickwick, Mr., 383 

" Pickwick Papers," 383 






INDEX 



571 



Pierce, President Franklin, 468, 

488, 499 

Pierrepont's Windmill, 17 
Piers, 7 

Piers and Bulkheads, 90 
Piers and Streets, Cleaning of, 

168 

Pierson, Isaac, no 
" Pie Woman's Lane," 12 
Pigeon-shooting, 283, 525 
Pike, General, 84 
Pike Slip, 6 
Pike, the Distiller, 121 
Pilot Boy, 21 
Pilots, 425 

Pinckney, B. O., 542 
Pinckney, Wm. L., 542 
Pine Street, 243, 260, 272, 283, 

3ii 

Pintard, John, 91 
Pintard's Calculation, 532-534 
Pinteaux, Mr., 388 
Pioneer, The, 130 
Pipe-laying, 379 
Pipe-smoking, 57 
Piracy, 92, 131, 159 
Piratical Vessel, 103, 242 
Pistol-shooting, 7 
''Pivotal State" Election, 290 
Placide, Henry, 147, 186, 241, 

373, 442, 496, 516 
Placide, Henry and Thomas, 52 
Placide, Thomas, 186 
Platt, Colonel, 154 
Platt, Jacob S., 273 
Platt Street, 273, 285 
Plumbers, 392 
Pocket-book Dropping, 446 
Poillon, Cornelius, 237 
Polar Sea, 460 
Police, Day and Night, 393 
Police Department, 410, 452, 504 
Police Office, 410 
Police-officers, Number of, 31,424 
Political Canvass of New York, 

290 

Political Parties, 101 
Polk, James K., 231 
Polling Places, 294 
Poole, " Bill," 355, 498 
Popham, Maj. Wm., 409, 435 
Population, 6, 18, 182, 263, 425, 

532 



Postage, 418 

Postage Law, New, 456 

Postages, Letter, 44 

Post Boy, 1 60 

Posters, Illustrated, 54 

Post-office, 31, 32, 203, 218, 385, 

418 

" Potpie" Palmer, 87 
Potter, Rev. Dr. Horatio, 496 
Potter's Field, 102, 138, 214 
"Pot, The, "30 
Potts, Rev. Dr. George, 406 
Poultry, Fancy, 500 
Power, Maurice, 444 
Power, Tyrone, 52, 274, 292, 354, 

367, 49 

Practical Plumbers, 392 

Pray, Samuel, 442 

Presbyterian Churches, 203, 206, 

212 

Presbyterian Church, First, I2O, 

155 

Preserves, Domestic, 70 
President, 274, 373 
Presidential Campaign, 530 
Presidential Canvass, 231 
Presidential Electors, 414 
Press Dinner to Dickens, 384 
Price, Benjamin, 347 
Price, Stephen, 346 
Price, Thompson, 332 
Price, Wm. M., 189, 338, 347, 388 
Pride, George L., 193 
Pride of China, 542 
Prime, Nathaniel, 273 
Prime, Ward, King & Co., 344 
Prince of Wales, 529-530 
Prince's Ball, 530 
Princeton, U. S. Steamer, 345, 

368, 405, 407 
Printers' Union, 466 
Printing, 47 

Prison Association, 430 
Prison Ship, 344 
Private Carriages, 6, 96 
Property Qualifications, 348 
Provisions, Scarcity and Importa- 
tion of, 58 
Provost, Bishop, 246 
Provost Street, 272 
Public Baths, 54 
Public Meeting, 286, 325 
Public Office, 32 



572 



INDEX 



Public Pound, 172 

Public Promenade, 163 

Public Stores, 193, 346 

Pulpit of St. Paul's Church, 202 

Pump, Street, 35-36, 237 

Purdy, Samuel, 143 

Purdy's National Theatre, 345, 

517 

Puseyism, 408 
" Puseyites," 408 
Pusey, Rev. Dr., 405 
Putnam's Monthly, 406 

Quaker Schism, 225 
Quaker Yearly Meeting, 218 
Queen Mab, 139 
Queen of the West, 514 
Queen Victoria, 517 

Rabineau, Dr., 99 

Race-course, Bath, 103 

Race-course, New Market, 61 

Rachael, Mme., 499 

Racket Court, 427 

Radcliffe, Jacob, I, 28, 50, 84 

Railroad in Broadway, 539 

Railroads, 265 

Railroad, Schenectady to Albany, 

186 

Railways, Street, 54, 265 
Rainbow, 428 
Randall, Jonathan, 30 
Randall, John, Jr., n, 119 
Randall, Robert R., 253, 261 
Randall's Island, 30, 295 
Randolph, John, 143 
Randolph, Stuart F., 179 
Ravel, Gabriel, 268, 434 
Ravels, The, 35, 230, 268, 388, 

5i6 

Raymond, Henry J., 369, 476 
Ray, Robert, 273, 431 
" Razor Strop Man," 477 
Real Estate, no, 239, 265, 297, 

303, 327, 345, 390, 459. 520 
Real Estate Brokers, 296 
Reason Street, 229, 237 
Receipts and Expenditures of City, 

101 

Recorders, 32, 337 
Red Fort, 21, 163 
Red Hook, 17, 303 
" Red House," 283, 541 



Redmond, T. B., 223 

"Red Rover," 130 

Red Star Line, 129 

Reformed Dutch Churches, 200 

Reformed Dutch Collegiate 

Churches, 203 
Refrigerators, 339 
Regatta, Annual, of Boat Clubs,. 
' 253, 298 
Regatta, New York Yacht Club,. 

422-423, 499 
Register, 134, 265 
Registry Commission, 380 
Registry Law, 348, 385 
Reilly's Fifth Ward Hotel, 469 
Religious Revival, 513 
Removal of Offices, 135 
Removal of U. S. Deposits, 279, 

286, 310 

Remsen House, 256 
Remsen's Building, 331 
Renwick, James, 334, 404 
Renwick, Prof, jas., LL. D., 336 
Repair and Supply Dept., 452 
Representation in Congress, 308 
Republican Alley, 12 
Rescue, 460 
Reservoir, East Thirteenth Street, 

264, 285 

Reservoir (Bryant Park), 138 
Reservoir Square, 488 
Residence of Merchants, 35 
Restaurants, 53, 61 
Restell, Mme., 370 
Resumption of Specie Payments, 

330, 336 

Rhind, Charles, 258 
Rhinelander, Dr. John R., 267 
Rhinelander's Lane, 10 
Rhode Island Coal Co., 65 
Rhodes, Foster, 259 
Rice, T. D., 269 
Rice's, Dan., Circus, 516 
Richmond, 100 
Richmond Hill House and Garden, 

96-97, 133, 262, 319, 351, 431, 

457 
Ridgeley, Capt. Charles G., U. S. 

N., 104, 342 
Riker House, 337 
Riker, John, Jr., 314 
Riker, Richard, 32, 223, 337, 

390 



INDEX 



573 



Ring, Zebedee, 232 

Riot in Chatham Street Chapel, 

289 

Riots, 510 
" Riot Year," 290 
Ripley, George, 463 
Ritchie, W. F., 422 
Ritchings, Peter, 123, 132, 292, 

442, 496 

River Navigation, 253 
Rivers, Blockades of, 40 
River Thieves, 480 
Rivington Slip, 6 
Roads and Lanes, 7 
Robert Fulton, 1 29 
Robert Fulton, U. S. N., no 
Roberts, Lieut., R. N., 335 
Roberts, Marshall O., 493 
Robbins, George, 423 
Robinson, Capt., 423 
Robinson, Richard P., 319 
Robinson Street, 12 
"Rochester Knockings, The," 

444 

Rockavvay Marine Pavilion, 273 
Roebling, John A., 514 
Roebling, Thos. A., 514 
Rogers, Captain, 422 
Rogers, Mary, 309 
Roller Skating, 35 
Rollins, George, 423 
Romaine, Samuel B., no 
Roman Catholic Churches, 200, 

212, 298 
Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, 

482 

Roman Catholics, 49, 375, 409 
Roosevelt, James, 432 
Roosevelt Slip, 6 
Roosevelt Street, 13 
Rose-bushes in City Hall Park, 

134 

Rose Hill Lane, 10 
Rossi, Countess, 482 
Rothschilds, Messrs., 326 
Rotunda, The, 31, 270 
Rubber Boots and Overshoes, 116 
Ruffed Grouse, 261 
Ruggles, Samuel B., 366, 426 
Run on Savings Banks, 327 
Rushton, Wm. L., 336 
Russ, Mr., 482 
"' Russ" Pavement, 542 



Russell, Archibald, 493 

Russ, John Dennis, 470 

Rutgers, Col., 22, 154 

Rutgers Medical College, 193, 313 

Rutherford, John, 27 

Rye Pond, 214 

Rynder Street, 229 

Sabbatarians, 238 

Sacred Musical Society, 457 

Saddle Horses, 90 

Sailing Packets, 243 

Sailors' Snug Harbor, 261, 274 

Sale of Lots, 121, 345, 390 

Sales by the Pound or Ton, 151 

" Sales-ladies," 54, 181 

Sales- women, 181 

Salles, Laurent, 114 

" Saloons," 379, 401 

Salter, Mr., 378 

Saltus, Col. " Nick," 317, 459 

Samuels, Capt. S., 471, 493, 521 

Sandford, Maj.-Gen. Charles W., 

160, 188, 324 

San Francisco Minstrels, 447 
"Sans Souci," 230, 284 
"Santa Glaus," 78 
Santa Cruz de Oviedo, Don Esta- 

ban, 524 
Saratoga, 194 
Saratoga & Schenectady R. R., 

265 

Saul & Hewlett, 480 
Savannah, 102 
Savings Bank, Chambers Street, 

90, 166 

Savings Banks, 327 
Sawdust Game, 446 
Saw Mill Creek, 15 
Sawyers, Wood, 65 
Saxe- Weimar, Duke of, 176 
Schenck, Philip H., no 
Schenectady & Albany R. R. 

1 86 

Schermerhorn, Mrs., 424 
Schermerhorn, Peter, 273 
Schiefflin, Robert L., 308 
Schiller, 521 
Schinley, Capt., 365 
Schooley's Mountains, 194 
School Term, 149 
Schroeder, Rev. John F., 2.12 
Schuyler, Geo. L., 423, 436, 472 



574 



INDEX 



Schuyler, Robert and Geo. L., 

397 

Schuyler, Robert, 494 
Scott, Maj.-Gen. Winfield, 381, 

432, 495 

Scott's and Cooper's Novels, 292 
Scott, Sir Walter, 137 
Screw Docks, 311 
Scudder, John, 82 
Scudder's Museum, 90, 126, 218, 

399 

Sea Fox, I2O 

Sea Serpent, 188, 218 

" Second Coming of Christ," 281 

Secor & Sons, P'rancis, 291, 320 

Sectional or Dakin's Dock, 404 

Seeley, Peter, 320 

Sefton, Mrs., 52, 232 

Seguin's Point, 513 

Seldon, Rev. Mr., 299 

Seminary, General Theological, 
190 

September Gale, 125 

Seventeenth Ward Riot, 511 

Seventh Regiment, 290, 509 

Seventh Street, 217 

Severe Winter, 312 

Seward Monument, 165 

Seward, Wm. H., 331, 392, 396 

Sewer Discharge, 48 

Sewer in Canal Street, 101 

Sewing Machines, 54 

Shakespeare Hotel, 105 

Sharpe, Mrs., 174 

Sharp, Jacob, 540 

Shaving, Billiard, and Oyster Par- 
lors, 57 

Shaw, Miss Josephine, 319, 341, 

3?i 

Shephard, H. D., 275 
Sheriffs, 32, 134, 509 
Shinbone Alley, 12, 284 
Ship Building, 237, 439 
Shipping Trade, 386 
" Ship Yard Fire," 145 
Shoe and Boot Blacking, 88 
Shooter's Island, 287 
Shooting of Militia Men, 236 
Shop Butchers, 89, 378 
Shot Tower, Youle's, 125, 223 
"Shysters," 54 
Sidewalks, 412 
" Sikesy," 355 



Silas Richards, Arrival of, 188 
" Silk Stocking" Party, 289 
Silt, Dredging of, 137 
Simpson, Edmund, 315, 393, 438, 

441 

Simpson & Price, 347 
Sinclair, Mrs., 479 
Singing Campaign, 345 
"Sir Charles," Match with 

"American Eclipse," 136 
" Sir Henry " Match with 

"American Eclipse," 143-144, 

411 

Sirius. 335 
Sixth Avenue, Opening of, 90, 

171 

Sixth Avenue R. R., 477, 484 
Sixth Street, 264 
Skates, 77 
Skating, Roller, 35 
Sketch Club, 431 
Skiddy, Capt. Wm., 471 
Skinner Road, 8 
Slack, John C., 149 
Slamm, Bang, Ming & Co., 302 
Slamm, Levi D., 300 
Slavery, Abolition of, 134, 277 
Slavery, Existence of, 82 
Slavers, 117 

Slaves, Attempt to Free Them, 188 
Slave Vigilance Committee, 454 
" Slaughterhouse Lane," 12 
Slaughtering of Animals, 60 
Sleds and Sleighs, 34 
"Slim," 282 

" Slippery Dick," 309, 487 
Sloat, Commodore, JohnD., U. S.. 

N., 435 

Sloo, Albert G., 448 
Sloo Contract, 449 
"Slop Tailors," 76 
Slote Lane, 12 
Slote Lane Extended, 176 
Smell Street, 12 
Smith, Bishop, 269 
Smith, Col. Wm. S., House of. 

127 

Smith & Dimon, 158, 237, 470 
Smith, Edward, 258 
Smith, James, 257 
Smith, James M., 506 
Smith, Joseph, 249 
Smith, Jotham, 53, 324, 537 



INDEX 



575 



Smith, Thomas H. & Son, 242, 
458 

Smith, Washington, 542 

Smoking in the Streets, 72, 158 

Snediker, John, 250 

Snediker's, O. T., 395 

Snipe and Shooting Grounds, 16- 
17, 108 

Snow in the Streets, 34, 119 

Snuff, 544 

Social Clubs, 317 

Social, Domestic, and Business 
Changes, 54 

Social Status of Negroes, 181 

Society for Founding an Institu- 
tion for the Blind, 339 

Society of Christian Friends, 210 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 300 

"Soft Shell" Party, 416 

Somers, U. S. Brig, Mutiny in, 

397 

Sontag, Henrietta, 482 

Sons and Daughters of the Revo- 
lution, 4 

Sons of Liberty, 2 

Sothern, E. A , 490, 520 

Soup House, 100 

Southampton, 542 

Southampton Road, 9 

South Carolina Seceded, 531 

"South" Church, Garden Street, 
205 

Southern Mail, 32, 44 

South Ferry, 221 

South Street, n 

Specie Payments Resumed, 86, 
336 

Spectacles, 54, 57 

Spectaculum, 21 8 

Spectator. The, 47 

Speculations, 500 

Spencer, Mark, 189 

Spencers, 75 

Spingler Estate, 21, 418 

Spingler, Henry, 21 

Spirituous Drinks, 57 

Spicer, George, 411 

Spiritualism, 444 

Spofford & Tileston, 426, 484 

Sportsmen and Game, 108 

Sprague, Charles, 122 

Spruce Beer, Mead, etc., 58 

Spruce Street, 264 



Spuyten Duyvil Creek, 287 

" Spy, The," Unmasked, 129-130, 
132 

Stackpole, Mr., 132, 195 

Stage-coaches, 125 

Stage Fares, 540 

Stage from Bull's Head, 139 

Stage Lines and Routes, 43, 229, 
231 

Stage Offices, 40 

Stages and Cars, Street, 54 

Stages, City, 539 

Stages, Eastern, 43 

Stages, Greenwich and Harlem, 39 

Stages to Albany, 43 

Stages to Boston, 43 

Stages to P^lizabethtown (Eliza- 
beth), 43 

Stages to Monmouth, 43 

Stages to Newark, 43 

Stages to Paterson, 43 

Stages to Philadelphia, 43, 101 

Stages to Washington, 43 

Stage to Bloomingdale, 101 

St. Andrew's Society, 196 

Stanley, Marcus C., 389 

Stanwix Hall, 498 

Star Theatre, 129, 252, 482 

State and Charter Officers, I2O 

Staten Island Ferry, 85 

Staten Island Ferry and Barge 
Office, 39, 41 

Staten Island to City on Ice, 119 

State's Prison, 192, 226, 230 

Steamboat Excursions, 54 

Steamboat Hotel, 28 

Steamboats, Number of, 40 

Steamboats, Speed of, 124 

Steamboats to Albany, 43 

Steamboats to New Brunswick, 43 

Steamboats to New Haven, 43 

Steamboats, Wrecking of, 400 

Steamboat Travel, 133 

Steam Boiler, Riveting of, 249 

Steam-engine, Establishment of, 

Steamers and Sailing Vessels to 

San Francisco, 452 
Steam Fire-engine, 370, 497, 516, 

532 

Steam Launch, 329 
Steam Locomotive, 237 
Steam Motor, First, 285 



576 



INDEX 



Steam Navigation of Hudson 

River, 108 
Steam Pump, 264 
Steam-sawing and Wood-splitting, 

65 

Steel Pens, Prototype of, 176 
Steers, George, 472 
Steers, Henry, 237 
Steers, Henry & George, 472 
Steffanone, Mine., 462, 489 
St. George's Church, 149, 212, 421 
St. George's Society, 345 
St. George's Square, 86 
Stenography, 189 
Stephenson, George, 237 
Stereotyping, 82 
Stevedores, 316 
Stevens, Edwin A., 472 
Stevens, Horatio G., 30 
Stevens House, 55 
Stevens, John C., 282, 350, 414, 

423, 472 
Stevens, Robert L. & John C., 

172, 255, 282 
Stevens, Robert L., 108, 351, 414, 

433 

Stevens, Samuel, 392 
Steward of Steamboat, 292 
Stewart, Alexander T., 212, 409, 

418, 429, 432, 461 
Stewart, Commodore Charles, U. 

S. N., 398 
Still Hook, 17 
Stillwellites, 207 
St. John's Park Fence, 243 
St. Luke's Hospital, 430, 466, 488, 

493, 505, 517 
St. Mark's Place, 321 
St. Nicholas Avenue, 8, 10 
St. Nicholas Society, 295, 410 
Stock-brokers, 385 
Stocks and Bonds, 386 
Stocks, etc., Depreciation of, 390 
Stocks, Neck, 148 
Stockton, Captain R. F., U. S. N.,' 

340, 345, 367, 405, 408 
Stoneall, James C., 107, 157, 259 
Stone Bridge Hotel. 7 
Stone-cutters' Riot, 290 
Stone, J. A., 241 
Stone Street, 311, 432 
Stone, William L., 47, 255, 413 
Stoppani's Baths, 54 



Stores Closed, 71-72 

Story, Francis V., 275 

Stoughtenger , 240 

Stoughton, James, and Robert M. 

Goodman's Encounter, 104 
Stoves, Hall Furnaces, etc., 65-66 
St. Patrick's Cathedral, 516 
St. Patrick's Church, 118, 313 
St. Paul's Church, 93 
St. Philip's Church, 290 
Strakosch, Maurice, 504 
Straw Bail, 54 
Street Cars, 54, 265 
Street Cars and Colored Persons, 

181 

Street Commissioner, 265, 506 
Street Crossings and Sidewalks, 34 
Street Gas Lamps, First, 220 
Street Pump, 36 
Street Railway, First, 255 
Streets and Piers, Cleaning of, 168 
Streets, Change of Names, 83, 229 
Street Sewers, 69 
Street Shoe-blacks, 54, 88 
Streets, Lighting of, 72 
Streets, Opening of, 84, 217 
Street Stages, 54 
Streets Widened, 264 
Strikers, 316 
Stringham, Capt. S. H., U. S. N., 

335 

Stryker's Bay. 14, 17 
Stryker's House, 291 
St. Thomas's Church, 134, 198 
Stuyvesant, Nicholas William, 318 
Stuyvesant Pe&r-tree, 433 
Stuyvesant, Peter G., 273, 295, 

434 

Stuyvesant, Petrus, 72 
Stuyvesant's, Governor, House, 

522 
Stuyvesant's Pond, Swamp, etc., 

15, 78, 54i 

Stuyvesant Street, 337 
Submarine Telegraph, 402 
Sub-Treasury, 311 
Suffern, Thomas, 273 
Sugar House, 70 
Suicide, 226 
Summer Garden and Theatre for 

Colored Persons, 123 
Sun, 160, 175, 189, 
Sunday Concerts, 54 



INDEX 



577 



Sunday Courier, 166 

Sunday Dinners, 74 

Sunday Excursions, 64, 124 

Sunday Mails, 239 

Sunday Newspapers, First, 166 

Sunday Papers, 47 

Sundays, 412 

Sunday-school, 226 

Sunfish Pond, 15, 78, 541 

Sun, The, 34, 274, 296, 410 

Supervisors, Board of, 504, 525, 542 

Supply Engine, No. I, 85 

Supreme Court, 221 

Surrogate, 265 

Suspension Bridge, 513 

Suspension of Banks, 379, 512 

Suspension of Specie Payments, 

327 

Suspicious Vessel, 342 
Suydam, Lambert, 308 
Suydam, Miss, 220 
Suydam, Richard, 273 
Sivallow, 419 
Swallow Tail Line, 302 
Swamp, Old, Church, 203 
" Swamp, The," 14 
" Swartwouting," 338 
Swartwout, John & Samuel, I2i, 

223, 249, 338 
Swartwout, Robert, no 
" Swedenborgian," 210 
" Swedish Nightingale," 463 
Sweetheart, 329 
Swift sure, 1 60, 171 
" Swill" or "Stump-tailed Milk," 

512 

Swimming-baths, 99 
Swords, James, 429 
Sybil's Cave, 389 
Sykes, William, 161 
Symme's Hole, 125 
Symmes, John C., 124, 186 

Tabernacle, 412, 514 
Taglioni, M. and Mme., 341 
Tailors, "Slop," 77 
Tailors, Striking, 316 
Tallmadge, F. A., 289, 385, 396, 

454 

Tammany Hall, 33, 133, 225, 227, 
249, 277, 301, 339, 348, 369, 
386, 391, 416 

Tammany Society, 62, 91, 523 

19 



Tappan, Arthur, 163, 189, 224, 299 

Tappan, Arthur, & Co., 188 

Tappan, Lewis, 188, 290, 299 

Target Companies, 398, 531 

Tariff Laws, 266 

" Tattersall's," 103, 217 

Taylor, A. B., 460 

Taylor, Arthur, 143 

Taylor, Bayard, 463 

Taylor, Gen. Zachary, U. S. A., 

428, 432, 441,445, 46i 
Taylor, Mary C., 338, 438, 440 
Taylor, Moses, 493 
Taylor, Najah, 91 
Taylor, " Tom," 520 
Tax Levy, 229 
Tea-dealer in Broadway, 180 
" Tea Room," 86, 340, 479 
Tea-rusk, 35 
Tea-water Pump, 36 
Tedesco, 462 
Teetotallers, 372 
Telegraph at Narrows, 47, 218 
Telegraph, New York to Phila- 
delphia, 403, 423 
Telegraphs, 54 
Ten Broek, R., 421 
Tenement House, First, 531 
Tenth Street, 217 
Terrapin Lunch, 270 
Terrell, Capt., 346 
Texas, 412, 416 
Thackeray, Wm. M., 483, 499 
Thalia Theatre, 538 
Thatched House, 253 

The Advocate, 265 

Theatre Alley, 50 

Theatre, First, 50 

Theatre for Colored Persons, 123 

Theatre, Greenwich Street, 50 

Theatre, John Street, 50 

Theatre, New York, " Bowery," 

First Lighted with Gas, 191 
Theatre, William Street, 50 

' The Broadway Cottage," 401 

' The Bugs," 295 

' The Burned Rag," 309 

1 The Duke's House," 538 4 

' The Finish," 235 

7^he Free Enquirer, 236 
The Log Cabin, 249, 368 
Theological Seminary, General, 
190, 262 



578 



INDEX 



" The Skimmer of the River," 43 

The Sun, 304, 410 

Tfa Times, 224, 501 

The Tribune, 369, 402, 410, 418, 

442 

Third Avenue Railroad, 485 
Third Street, 217 
Thirteenth Ward, 218 
Thomas, Theodore, 502 
Thompson, Corporal, 365, 487 
Thompson, James, 239 
Thompson, Jeremiah and Francis, 

44 

Thornburn, Grant, 297 

Thome, Chas. R., 239, 480 

Thome, Col., 22, 438 

Thome, Herman, 273 

Thorp, J. B., 179 

Ticket Night, 51 

Tiemann, Daniel F., 7, no, 516 

Tilden, Samuel J., 373, 391 

Tillotson, John C., 282 

Timm, Henry C., 417, 441 

"Tin Pot Alley," 12 

Tivoli Garden, 351 

Tobacco, 544 

Tobacco, Chewing, 57, 88 

Tobacco J uice, Ejection of, 88 

41 Toe Club," 154 

Token, 310 

Tokens, 333 

Tomatoes, 148 

Tombs, 335 

"Tom Jones," 383 

Tompkins Market, 27, 233, 243 

Tompkins Square, 14, 16, 27, 108 

Tompkins Street, 295, 310 

Tom Thumb, Gen., 399 

Tonnage of Vessels, 335 

Tontine Building, 29, 72 

Tontine Coffee House, 6, 44, 48, 

225 

Towing of Barges, 167 
,Town, Ithiel & Thompson, 238 
Townsend, Isaac, 542 
Town send, Rosina, 319 
Trades-union, 316 
Tramps, 54 

Transportation, Harbor, 40 
Trap Shooting, 261 
Travelling, 40, 43, 124 
" Travelling Expedition," 43, 231 
Travel to Boston, 133 



Travel to Rahway, 343 

Tread-mill, 134 

Tree, Miss Ellen, 52, 245, 320, 496 

Tremont House, 179 

Trenton Falls, 194, 220 

Trinity Chapel, 499 

Trinity Church, 155, 252, 269,. 
340, 372, 428 

Trinity Record, 190 

" Trifle," 282 \ 

Tripler Hall, 465, 482, 490, 492 

" Trollope," 276 

Trollope, Anthony, 276 

Trollope, Mrs. Frances, 275-276 

Trollope, Thomas A., 276 

Trotting-course, 245 

Trout, Killing of, 229 

Trouble, 413 

Troy Conference Academy, 280 

Trumbull, Col. John, 154', 406 

Tryon Row, 365 

Tug-boats, 269 

Tunnel of New York and Harlent 
R. R., 345 

Turner, James, 498 

Turtle Bay, 14, 17 ; and Store- 
house, 137 

Turtle Club, 62 

Tweed, Wm. M., 309, 484, 487 

Twenty-first Street, 217 

Twenty-seventh Regiment, 290,. 

435 

Tyler, John, President, 403 
Tyng, Rev. Stephen H., 421 
Typewriting, 54 

Unclaimed Letters, 385 

Uncle Tom's Cabin, 489, 492 

Union Bank, 49 

Union Club, 15, 317, 493 

Union Course, L. I., 92, 218, 282, 

387, 421 

Union, Journeymen Tailors', 316 
Union Line to Philadelphia, 239 
Union Road, 9 
Union Square, 138, 264 
Union Theological Seminary, 312 
Unitarian Churches, 207, 212 
United Hebrew Charities, 300 
United States, 166, 456 
United States Arsenal, 165 
United States Bank, 326-327, 344 
United States Express, 330 



INDEX 



579 



United States Hotel, 225, 275 
United States Hotel (Saratoga), 458 
United States Mail, 91, 375 
Universalists, 210 
University of New York, 255, 296 
University Place, 284 
Upshur, Abel P., 407 
Uptown Movement, 317, 375 
Usher, Mrs., 59 

Vacation, Summer, 544 

Valentine, Dr., 174 

Van Arsdale, John, 249 

Van Buren, John, 426 

Van Buren, Martin, 291, 332, 340, 

349, 370 

Van Cortlandt, General, 154 
Vandenheuvel, Estate of J. C., 

214 
Vandenheuvel Mansion, 214, 475, 

537 
Vanderbilt, Captain Cornelius, 

85, 170, 240, 243, 251, 256, 292, 

418, 433 

Vanderbilt, Jacob, 256 
Van der Cliff, Dirk, 2 
Vanderhoff, George, 52, 331, 343, 

39 

Vanderlyn, John, 32 
Vandervoort & Flandin, 53 
Van Dyne, " Nick," 250 
Van Hoffman, Baron, 88, 95 
Van Nest, Abraham, 109 
Van Ranst, C. H., 92, 136, 140, 

143 

Van Wyck, Pierre C., 308 

Varian House, 314 

Varian, Isaac L., 179, 335, 341, 

367 

Varick, Colonel, 154 
Vaux, Calvert, 469, 513 
Vauxhall Garden, 122, 192 
Venality of Some Members of 

Common Council, etc., 487 
Venders of Oysters, Clams, Fish, 

Buns, Yeast, etc., 35 
Venetian Shades, 448 
Verdant Lane, 10 
Vernon, Mrs., 52, 220, 251, 496, 

520 

Verren, Rev. A., 390 
Verplanck, Gulian C., no, 221, 

287, 308 



Versailles, Painting of, 32 
Vessels in Port, 386, 416 
Vessels, Sailing and Arrival of, 84 
Vessels, Tonnage of, in Construc- 
tion, 335 

Vessels, Transportation of, 167 
Vesta, 460, 495 

Vestris, M. and Mme., 230, 238 
Vice-Chancellor, 221 
Viennoise, 439 
Vigilance Committee, 300 
Vincent, Marvin R., 281 
Virginia, 426 
"Virginia Minstrels," 446 
Vocal Society, 457 
Volunteer Firemen, 145, 535, 537 

Waddell, Francis L., 458 

Waddell, Mrs., 424 

Waddell, William C. H., 424, 458 

Wainwright, Bishop, 212, 297, 406, 
4?3 

Waite, Captain, 346 

Walcot, 442 

Wales, J. W., 397 

Walker Street, 467, 492 

Wallack, Charles, 493 

Wallack, Henry, T22, 328,438 

Wallack, James, 52, 132, 331, 496 

Wallack, James W., 92, 122, 126, 
232, 328, 343,412, 481, 520 

Wallack, J. Lester, 438, 457, 481, 
520 

Wallack, J. W., Jr., 457 

Wallack, Mrs., 122 

Wallack's Lyceum, 481 

Walling, George W., 480 

Wall Street, 6, 294, 298, 492 

Walnut Street, 22 

Walton House, 89, 225, 250 

Waltzing, 192 

Walworth, Chancellor, 261 

Ward, Artemus, 160, 518 

Ward Meetings, 179 

Ward, Samuel, 214, 255, 344 

Ward's Island, 30, 478 

Wards, Number of, 82, 166, 477 

Wards, Third, Seventh, and Tenth, 
217 

Wards, Thirteenth and Four- 
teenth, 218 

Warm Baths, 103 

Warming-pans, 65, 116-117 



5 8 



INDEX 



Warren House, 109, 254 
Warren's House, Sir Peter, 254 
Warren Road, 9 
Washington, 186, 217, 256 
Washington and Warren Bank, 183 
Washington, General George, 97, 

159 
Washington Hall, 28, 33, 59, 162, 

225, 317, 409 

Washington Inauguration, 3, 339 
Washington Lunch, 325 
Washington Market, 27, 114, 278 
Washington Market Slip, 6, 27 
Washington Monument, 278, 435 
Washington Parade (Square), 102, 

138, 214, 250 
Washington Place, 464 
Washington's Entry Into New 

York, 3 

Washington, Ship, 167 
Washington, Steamer, 432, 448 
Washington Street, 478 
Washington, Travel to, 43 
Watch Districts, 214 
Watch Houses, 31, 536 
Watchman, City, 31-32 
W T ater, Boring for, 169 
Waterbury, James, 423 
Waterbury, Nelson j., 373 
Water ford, Marquis of, 300, 353 
Water Ices, 59 

Watering Places, Life of, 193 
Waterloo, Painting of Battle of, 32 
Water Street, 13 
Water Supply, 35, 169, 214, 290 
Water Tank, East Thirteenth 

Street, 285 
Watts' House, 55 
Wave, 298, 413 

Waverley Novels, Author of, 137 
Waverly Place, 264 
Webb, James W., 240, 244, 265, 

288, 293, 312, 315, 396, 415 
Webb, Wm. H., 454, 470-471 
Webb & Allen, 237 
Webster, Daniel, 241, 289, 326, 

329, 353, 389, 395, 474, 482 
Webster, Noah, 47 
Weed, Thurlow, 187, 415 

Weekly Mirror, 139 

Weekly Times, 129 
Weller, "Tony," 383 
Well in Jacob Street, 158 



Wells & Patterson, 262 

Welsh, Alexander ("Sandie"), 269, 

325 

Wentworth, Rev. Prof., 280 
Westervelt, Jacob A., 237 
Westervelt, Richard H., 490 
West Point Cadets, 249 
West Point Foundry Shop, 240 
West's Circus, 103 
West Street, 227, 291 
Wetmore, Prosper M., 265 
Whaley, Alexander, 249 
Wheatley, Mrs. .,52 
Wheatley, Wm. and Emma, 52, 

232 

Whettin, John, 102 
Whig Jubilee, 329 
Whig Meetings, 349, 353, 414 
Whigs and Democrats, 302 
Whigs and Tories, 91 
Whiskey, American, 59 
Whispering Gallery, 51 
White, Bishop, 190 
White, Campbell P., 179, 308, 

349. 373 

White, Chandler, 493 
White Fort, 21 
Whitehall, 6, 40 
Whitehall Slip, 6 
Whitehall Street, 13, 492-493 
White Mountains, 194 
Whiting, James R., 387, 401, 420 
Whitlock, 405 

Whitlock's Havre Line, 269 
Whitney, Stephen, 221, 273 
Wikoff, Henry, 411, 415 
" Wild Cats," 327 
Wild Fowl, 40 
Wilhorst, Cora de, 504 
Wilkes, J. Hamilton, 423, 472 
Wilkins, Martin S., 65 
Willard, 95 
Willard, H. E., 328 
Willett, Col. Marinus, 22, 154 
Williams, Barney, 405 
Williamsburg Ferry Co., 188 
Williams, Captain, 131 
Williams, David, 249 
Williams, Jabez, 237 
Williams, La Petite Auguste, 338 
Williams, Mrs. Barney, 442 
Williamson & Kennard, 282 
Williamson, Richard, 61 



INDEX 



Williams, Richard S., 308 
William Street, 264, 294, 426 
William Street Theatre, 50 
Williams, Wm. R., 189 
Williams & Guion, 470 
Willis, N. P., 139, 461, 474 
Winchester, Wm. P., 423 
Windust, Edward, 161 
Winter Garden, 474, 495, 500 
Winter, Severe, 312, 503 
Winthrop, Robert C., 383 
Wirt, William, 188 
Wolcott, Oliver, 274 
Wolfe, Maj.-Gen., Monument of, 

10 

Women, 54, 74-75 
Wonderful Ox, 218 
Wood as Fuel, 146 
Woodbridge Creek, 287 
Woodcock Grounds, 17 
Woodcock, Shooting of, 180 
Wood Democracy, 417 
Wooden Block Pavement, 299 
Wood, Fernando, 291, 320-321, 

497, 499. 5o6, 509-510, 526, 

53 1 

Woodhull, CalebS., 461 
Woodhull Minturn, 445, 514 
Woodlawn, 541 
Wood, Mr. and Mrs., 275, 315, 

323, 354, 496, 502 
Wood, Sawing and Splitting of, 

65 



Woods' Minstrels, 448 
Woodworth, Samuel, 139, 174 
Wool, Gen. John E., 436 
Wooster Street, 272, 285 
W T orkingman's Party, 466 
Workmen, Pay of, 73 
World's Fair, 488 
World, The, 532 
Worth, Gen. Wm. J., 165, 436, 

513 

Worthington, Henry R., 543 
Worthington & Baker, 543 
" Wreck Brook," 14 
Wright, Frances (Fanny), 124, 

474 

Wright & Son, Isaac, 44 
Wyckoffs, 251 
Wynkoop, Augustus, no 

Yacht Club, New York, 413, 422 
"Yankee Hill," 259 
Yarborough, Lord, 473 
Yearly Meeting, Quakers', 218 
Yellott, Schooner, 283 
Yellow Fever, 102, 113, 125, 133, 

135 

Yellow Hook, 17 
Yorkville, 6, 14, 459 
Youle's, George, Shot Tower, 125, 

223 

" Young Hickory," 231 
Young Men's Ball, 367 
Young, Mr., 52 



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